Covid 19 coronavirus: Qantas facing outrage over vaccination rule for travellers

Outraged customers have vowed never again to fly with Qantas after the airline’s boss said vaccinations against Covid-19 would be mandatory for all passengers on international flights.

Alan Joyce has been making global headlines this morning after he revealed once a vaccine became available, it would be a condition of travel with Qantas.

“For international travellers, we will ask people to have a vaccination before they get on the aircraft,” he said on A Current Affair last night.

“Certainly, for international visitors coming out and people leaving the country, we think that’s a necessity.”

Joyce suggested anti-vaxxers who weren’t happy with that rule may struggle to find an alternative airline to fly with.

“I think that’s going to be a common thing, talking to my colleagues in other airlines around the globe,” he said.

Joyce’s comments sparked an immediate wave of fury from people who objected to the policy.

“What right does Alan Joyce have to demand that we will only be allowed to travel with Qantas if we first prove we have been vaccinated against Covid-19?” someone asked on Twitter.

Some people said while they didn’t object to vaccines in theory, they had a problem with the national carrier making them mandatory.

Others expressed unease due to the speed at which a potential Covid-19 vaccine was likely to be developed and rolled out.

Drug companies Pfizer and Moderna, who both say their vaccine candidates are more than 90 per cent effective, have flagged they could become available next year.

“I’m no anti-vaxxer, but forced vaccination, especially of such a new drug, is NOT okay,” one person tweeted.

“If Qantas really go ahead, we may have to seek judges’ ruling.”

Others, though, were fully supportive of the policy.

Some people pointed out certain vaccinations were already required for international travel.

Travellers arriving in Australia from countries at risk of yellow fever, for example, could be asked by border authorities to prove they had been vaccinated against the potentially deadly disease.

The Australian Government has said a Covid-19 vaccine would not be mandatory in Australia but it could become a condition of entry or re-entry to the country.

“While the Australian Government strongly supports immunisation and will run a strong campaign to encourage vaccination, it is not mandatory and individuals may choose not to vaccinate,” the Australian Covid-19 Vaccination Policy says.

“There may, however, be circumstances where the Australian Government and other governments may introduce border entry or re-entry requirements that are conditional on proof of vaccination.”

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