According to our friends at Traveller Magazine based Down Under, “Australian airline Qantas will require vaccines for all passengers on international flights within the coming months, its CEO confirmed on Wednesday. “Qantas will have a policy that internationally we’ll only be carrying vaccinated passengers,” CEO Alan Joyce said, according to Traveller. He said the requirement will help “show that you’re flying safe and getting into those countries.”
This isn’t surprising because Australia, which is similar in size to the United States in landmass but has a tenth of the population, has been one of the strictest countries when dealing with COVID-19. They shut their borders 21 months ago when they implemented a Covid-zero strategy. It’s so strict that even their own citizens can neither enter or leave the country very easily nor travel with ease between its six states and two territories.
A few weeks ago, Qantas made headlines when they announced that they “will require all employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as part of the national carrier’s commitment to safety. Frontline employees – including cabin crew, pilots and airport workers – will need to be fully vaccinated by 15 November 2021 and the remainder of employees by 31 March 2022. There will be exemptions for those who are unable for documented medical reasons to be vaccinated, which is expected to be very rare.”
As a vaccinated traveler, I find comfort in this and would much prefer to fly on an airline that requires all passengers and workers to be vaccinated. According to Qantas, they implemented the policy after they sent a survey out to their customers and 89 percent of responders had already been vaccinated or were planning to be. Only four percent were unwilling or unable to get the jab. Also, “around three-quarters think it should be a requirement for all employees to be vaccinated and would be concerned if other employees in the workplace weren’t vaccinated.”
No one is certain when Qantas will start flying to the United States again but they hope to recommence in December. If they do, would you fly Qantas or another airline that doesn’t require proof of vaccination?
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