Qantas to require COVID vaccine for overseas flights

Australia's top airline Qantas says they plan to require coronavirus vaccinations for international travelers before they fly.

The country closed its international borders back in March and currently requires all overseas arrivals to quarantine for two weeks.

Qantas is one of the first major airlines to raise the possibility of a vaccine requirement.

But in a Monday interview (November 23), CEO Alan Joyce said others may soon follow suit.

"I'm talking to my colleagues in other airlines around the globe and I think it's going to be a common theme across the board. What we're looking at is how to 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, so there's a lot of logistics, a lot of technology, that will be needed to put in place to make this happen, but the airlines and the governments are working on this as we speak."

Joyce added that it's unclear whether or not domestic travelers, within Australia, will also be asked for vaccinations.

His comments came as Australia announced Tuesday it would further lift internal travel restrictions.

The border between the country's two most populous states, New South Wales and Victoria, opened on Monday.

That's welcome news for Qantas, which said it will run more than 1,200 flights in the run-up to Christmas, from New South Wales and Victoria into the popular holiday destination of Queensland.

Video Transcript

- Australia's top airline, Qantas, says they plan to require coronavirus vaccinations for international travelers before they fly. The country closed its international borders back in March and currently requires all overseas arrivals to quarantine for two weeks. Qantas is one of the first major airlines to raise the possibility of a vaccine requirement. But in a Monday interview CEO, Alan Joyce, said others may soon follow suit.

ALAN JOYCE: I'm talking to my colleagues in other airlines around the globe and I think it's going to be a common theme across the board. And what we're looking at is how you can have a vaccination, a passport, an electronic version of it, that certifies what the vaccine is, is it acceptable to the country or traveling to. So there's a lot of logistics, a lot of technology that will be needed to put in place to make this happen, but the airlines and the governments are working on this as we speak.

- Joyce added that it's unclear whether or not domestic travelers within Australia will also be asked for vaccinations. His comments came as Australia announced Tuesday it would further lift internal travel restrictions. The border between the country's two most populous states, New South Wales and Victoria, opened on Monday. That's welcome news for Qantas, which said it would run more than 100 flights in the run up to Christmas from New South Wales and Victoria into the popular holiday destination of Queensland.