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Qantas Becomes the First Airline to Require COVID-19 Vaccination for Passengers

News Airports + Flying
by Eben Diskin Nov 23, 2020

It seems like just yesterday that airlines and destinations were rolling out COVID-19 testing requirements to travelers. Right when we got the hang of the whole testing thing, they’re likely to change the rules on us once again. With the imminent rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, proof of vaccination is likely to be required before boarding planes or arriving in destinations, and Australia’s Qantas Airlines has already introduced this new rule.

Alan Joyce, the airline’s CEO, said Qantas has been looking at different ways to open up safely to international travel, and vaccination is a huge part of that. “We will ask people to have a vaccination before they can get on the aircraft,” he said in an interview with Australia’s Nine Network, “for international visitors coming out and people leaving the country we think that’s a necessity.”

While Qantas is the first airline to speak publicly about such a measure, it almost certainly won’t be the last. “I think that’s going to be a common thing talking to my colleagues in other airlines around the globe,” said Joyce.

Right now the vaccination requirement is only being considered for international travelers coming to Australia. When it comes to domestic travel, things are still uncertain. “Whether you need that domestically,” Joyce said, “we’ll have to see what happens with COVID-19 in the market, but certainly for international visitors coming out and people leaving the country, we think that’s a necessity.”

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