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Qantas CEO: Covid-19 vaccine ‘passport’ needed to fly

Anastasia Santoreneos
·2-min read
Left: Qantas plane. Right: Qantas chief executive officer Alan Joyce looks concerned.
Qantas CEO: Covid-19 vaccine ‘passport’ needed to fly. Source: Getty

Australians who want to travel overseas will likely require some sort of ‘passport’ to confirm they’ve received the Covid-19 vaccine, Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce has revealed.

"What we are looking at is how you can have a vaccination passport, an electronic version of it, that certifies what the vaccine is, is it acceptable to the country you are travelling to," Joyce told Nine.

Joyce said creating the document would be tough, but likely key to ensuring safe travel.

"We are looking at changing the terms and conditions to say for international travellers that we will ask people to have the vaccination before they get on the aircraft," Joyce said.

"But certainly for international visitors coming out and people leaving the country (Australia), we think that's a necessity."

Labor frontbencher Bill Shorten expressed support for the proposal, saying Australians would likely want to know whether the passengers they are seated next to were vaccinated.

"I would expect anyone coming into Australia is going to have to demonstrate to us that they are COVID safe," he said.

When will international travel resume?

On Monday, Joyce revealed Australia could be open to international travel, both inbound and outbound, “in the early New Year”.

While travel will initially start with New Zealand, Joyce said as the vaccine gets rolled out, so too will border re-openings.

“We’ve always planned that from July next year we’ll start reactivating our long haul international aircraft, and get a lot of our people back to work, and that still looks like the plan,” he said.

“The news about the vaccines are very positive, which I think is great for that border opening plan.”

When will see a Covid-19 vaccine?

Overnight, news broke that late-stage trials of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine, of which Australia has a deal with to manufacture and distribute, showed positive signs.

Where trial participants were given a half dose, followed by a full dose of the vaccine, the vaccine proved to be around 90 per cent effective.

Billionaire and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates since revealed he believes “almost all” of the Covid-19 vaccines will work well, and be ready by February 2021.

"I'm optimistic that by February, it's very likely they'll all prove very efficacious and safe," he told CNN.

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