Australia’s aviation industry has streamlined its strategy to help travellers get their heads around travel restrictions as the states and territories begin to open back up.
Industry body Airlines for Australia and New Zealand (A4ANZ) developed the approach to help passengers navigate the various state and territory requirements, including public health orders and the aviation industry’s own COVID-safe practices, as they return to travel.
NSW and Victoria, which are scheduled to open up first, have already indicated that people will need to be fully vaccinated in order to travel intrastate and interstate.
Queensland has outlined its roadmap, and other states and territories are expected to introduce similar requirements as they reopen.
To help streamline the travel experience and keep people safe, the aviation industry has agreed on the following approach:
- Pre-booking: links to the latest information for travel in each state will be available on airline and airport websites.
- Pre-travel: prior to travel, customers may be sent reminders (via email and SMS) of travel and destination entry requirements, including any permits required.
- Online check-in: Customers will be asked to declare eligibility to travel (see below).
- At the departing airport: Customers may be asked to sign in using a QR code and (in states that require it) confirm their vaccination status.
- At the departing airport: When checking in, customers will be asked to confirm that they comply with government travel requirements (including COVID-19 vaccination, where applicable). This is similar to disclosures that currently exist for dangerous goods in luggage.
- At the departing airport: Customers will also be asked to sign in using QR codes to access lounges and may also be asked to show proof of vaccination (where applicable).
- On arrival: Customers should have their documentation ready to show authorised officers. Other COVID-safe measures, including mandatory mask-wearing in terminals and on board, will remain in place nationwide but may be relaxed in future, especially as national vaccination rates rise.
“No industry is more excited about reopening than aviation,” said A4ANZ chief executive Alison Roberts.
“We’ve worked hard over the past 18 months to keep passengers and aviation workers safe, and we’re ready to keep evolving those controls in the months ahead as we enter this new phase.
“Given different vaccination rates and levels of community transmission around Australia, we know that conditions will phase in and out at different times in different parts of the country. We’re working with each state and territory government, as well as the Commonwealth, to help simplify the process for travellers as much as possible.
“We’re encouraging governments to align their requirements as much as possible to avoid a patchwork of rules nationwide that make it hard for customers to follow.
“We do ask that people take the time to familiarise themselves with the requirements based on where they are travelling and, where relevant, have proof of vaccination or a medical exemption on hand.
“Australia is on track to have one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, so it’s likely that many of the restrictions that will be applied over the next few months will eventually phase out.”
A4ANZ members include Qantas, Jetstar, Virgin Australia, Air New Zealand and Rex.
Featured image source: iStock/DLMcK