Anti-vaxxers, COVID-19 deniers and general conspiracy theorists have said they will boycott Qantas if the airline goes through with its plant to introduce mandatory COVID-19 vaccination on international flights.
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce revealed on Monday night’s episode of A Current Affair (ACA) that once the vaccine becomes available, its usage will be integrated into the airline’s terms and conditions for travel.
“For international travellers, we will ask people to have a vaccination before they get on the aircraft,” Joyce told ACA.
“Certainly, for international visitors coming out and people leaving the country, we think that’s a necessity.”
Many people have taken to Twitter to voice their disapproval of the national carrier’s decision. Here are just some of the negative reactions:
— Jose Ganan (@JoseGananGlez) November 23, 2020
— Helen ~ TLS (@1ittlesanctuary) November 23, 2020
I will never use Qantas ever again and I hope the world boycotts any company that uses this behaviour. ✌️
— Hugh Finn (@Hughbanjo) November 23, 2020
However, Joyce said he expects other airlines will follow suit.
“I think that’s going to be a common thing talking to my colleagues in other airlines around the globe,” Joyce said.
In fact, the federal government’s COVID vaccination policy states that there may “be circumstances where the Australian government and other governments may introduce border entry or re-entry requirements that are conditional on proof of vaccination”.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is even developing a digital health pass for airlines to use that will manage and verify the flow of necessary testing or vaccine information among governments, airlines, laboratories and travellers.
Qantas has shown interest in the health pass, which will likely take the form of a travel app for smartphones.
“Our main priority is to get people travelling again safely,” Nick Careen, IATA’s senior vice president of airport, passenger, cargo and security, said.
“In the immediate term, that means giving governments confidence that systematic COVID-19 testing can work as a replacement for quarantine requirements.
“And that will eventually develop into a vaccine program. The IATA Travel Pass is a solution for both.”