Judging from the international trials already underway, Australians would download a vaccine travel passport app on their smartphones, similar to the government’s COVIDSafe app.
“We are looking to change our terms and conditions (for international travelers) that we will ask people to get vaccinated before they can get on the plane,” Joyce said.
The airline chief said Qantas believed vaccination would be “a necessity” as governments around the world devise safe strategies to open international borders.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) will soon test a digital travel pass linked to passenger smartphones, which will indicate authorization for safe passage.
The US giant United Airlines has also created a prototype digital passport on its New York-London route.
NSW Civil Liberties Council spokesman Stephen Blanks said any move to make vaccines mandatory for travel must be led by the government.
“The federal government would need to regulate this to ensure that appropriate allowances are made for people who have legitimate reasons not to get vaccinated,” he said.
Those reasons can be health, religious or conscientious, he said.
If the federal government has been consulting with Qantas about mandatory vaccinations, Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt did not make this clear.
He said Tuesday that the government had not decided whether to make vaccinations mandatory for international visitors.
However, the government’s own COVID-19 vaccination policy document includes a provision that anyone who is not vaccinated against coronavirus can be detained at the border.
“There may be … circumstances in which the Australian government and other governments may introduce entry or re-entry requirements at the border that are conditioned on proof of vaccination,” the document said.
Since no vaccine has been approved and effective implementation will take many months, Qantas said any such policy would take some time.
9News understands that Qantas would include some waivers and alternative arrangements for those who cannot receive the vaccine for medical reasons.
Emirates, the airline of the United Arab Emirates, is conducting coronavirus testing on site with a rapid scan before passengers board their planes.
International air travel remains 90% below 2019 levels, according to IATA data.
“People want and need global mobility,” said IATA chief Alexandre de Juniac.
“We must manage how we live with the virus.
“But this does not have to mean destroying aviation, putting millions of jobs at risk, paralyzing economies and destroying the international social fabric.”
Mr de Juniac claimed that it was possible to “open borders today safely” with systematic testing for COVID-19.
Governments and the aviation industry are enthusiastically watching the progress of various vaccines, which appear to be close to being successfully rolled out next year.
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