‘Vaccine passport’ may be required tor international air travellers

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Passengers may be required to prove they have had a Covid vaccine before being able to travel abroad on Qantas, the airline’s chief executive said.

Alan Joyce said he has been talking to his counterparts at other airlines around the world about the possibility of a “vaccination passport” for overseas travellers.

Australia has imposed some of the most severe border restrictions in the world since the pandemic began, closing borders to most international visitors and only allowing its own citizens to travel internationally under special circumstances.

“We are looking at changing the terms and conditions to say for international travellers that we will ask people to have the vaccination before they get on the aircraft,” Mr Joyce told Australia’s Network Nine television.

Restrictions have helped Australia, with a population of 26 million, tame the outbreak.

The country has reported nearly 28,000 cases and just over 900 deaths since pandemic began, fewer than many other nations of its size.

Mr Joyce said creating a vaccination passport for inbound and outbound travellers to and from Australia would require a lot of thought and logistics and may need government intervention.

“But certainly for international visitors coming out and people leaving (Australia), we think that’s a necessity,” he told Nine.

“What we are looking at is how 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 traveling to.”

Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt told reporters on Tuesday there had not been a decision on border or re-entry rules around potential vaccines.

“Our task is to provide the vaccine to all Australians,” he said.

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