NEWS
24/11/2020 4:07 PM AEDT

Qantas: ‘All International Passengers Must Have COVID-19 Vaccine’

Qantas boss Alan Joyce said a coronavirus jab will be a "necessity” to fly overseas.

Qantaswill insist in future that international travellers have a COVID-19 vaccination before they fly, describing the move as “a necessity”.

“We are looking at changing our terms and conditions to say, for international travellers, that we will ask people to have a vaccination before they can get on the aircraft,” Chief Executive Alan Joyce told Channel 9. 

“Whether you need that domestically, we will 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.”

Australia closed its international borders in March during the first wave of the pandemic and currently requires returning travellers from overseas to quarantine for two weeks.

The lifting of more internal border restrictions is set to boost tourism as new coronavirus infections slow to a trickle, while first vaccines could be available in March, Health Minister Greg Hunt said on Tuesday.

Queensland will allow visitors next week from New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria, after closing its borders in August.

NSW has since notched a month without any COVID-19 cases where the source is unknown and restrictions on arrivals from Sydney will be eased on December 1, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

Residents of Victoria, previously the country’s coronavirus hotspot, will also be welcomed if the state has no new cases on Wednesday, which would mark 26 days without community transmission.

“Queensland is good to go,” Palaszczuk told reporters in Brisbane.

NSW and Victoria opened their border on Monday, while the South Australia-Victorian border opens fully next week, in welcome news for local airline companies, Qantas Airways and Virgin Australia.

Qantas said it will run more than 1,200 return flights from Victoria and NSW into Queensland in the run-up to Christmas.