Qantas Ends Vaccine Mandate For International Flights

Qantas Ends Vaccine Mandate For International Flights

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Qantas is changing its stance when it comes to requiring vaccination for international travel, as the airline had one of the strictest policies up until this point.

Qantas changes vaccination policy for travelers

While we’ve seen lots of countries require travelers to be vaccinated, we haven’t seen many airlines introduce a similar requirement. One exception was Qantas — Australia’s largest carrier has required international travelers to be fully vaccinated, regardless of the vaccination requirement at a destination.

This is something that Qantas CEO Alan Joyce was vocal about in late 2020, arguing that requiring vaccination is the right thing to do to protect everyone. As he explained at the time:

“We are looking at changing our terms & conditions to say for international travelers that we will ask people to have a vaccination before they can get on the aircraft. Whether you need that domestically, we’ll have to see what happens with COVID-19 and the market, but certainly for international visitors coming out and people leaving the country, we think that’s a necessity.”

It looks like Qantas has now had a change of heart, or is evolving with the times, depending on how you look at it. As of Tuesday, July 19, 2022, Qantas will no longer require international travelers to be vaccinated. Destinations may still require vaccination, but it’s possible to fly the airline internationally without being vaccinated.

Why is Qantas changing its vaccination policy now?

What’s causing Qantas to change its stance on requiring vaccination for international travel? Well, it probably reflects the overall pandemic situation in Australia.

Australia has gone from one extreme to the other when it comes to pandemic restrictions. For the first 18 months of the pandemic, Australia’s borders were almost completely shut, and Australians weren’t even allowed to leave the country, aside from a limited set of exceptions. This was part of Australia’s zero tolerance approach toward coronavirus.

That has evolved quickly, though. In late 2021, Australia started allowing citizens to leave the country, and then in February 2022, Australia reopened to vaccinated visitors. As of this past week, Australia eliminated all pandemic related travel restrictions, meaning there’s no longer a need to be vaccinated or tested in order to visit Australia. Entering the country is now exactly as it was pre-pandemic.

Australia is at this point no longer taking a zero tolerance approach toward coronavirus, and at the moment Australia has a higher average coronavirus death rate per capita than the United States.

So while Qantas could have stuck with its policy, odds are that it wouldn’t have been good for business. Justified or not, a majority of people have reached the “it’s time to move on” stage of the pandemic, and that’s reflected in everyday life.

The other issue involves boosters. You have the greatest protection from serious illness related to coronavirus if you’re boosted, but countries all have different policies regarding who should get boosted and how often. There are different levels of protection for those who got vaccinated 18 months ago, and those who have had two boosters since then, so what should a vaccine policy for international travel really be based on?

Qantas is no longer requiring travelers to be vaccinated

Bottom line

As of July 19, 2022, Qantas will no longer require international travelers to be vaccinated. This policy was unrelated to government restrictions, and was initially implemented because Qantas management thought it was the right thing to do. However, with Australia’s government having eliminated most pandemic related travel restrictions, it’s probably pretty hard for Qantas to continue justifying this policy.

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  1. philelltt Member

    Usually the airline has to comply with government regulations. If a government requires vaccination, the airline has to police it at the checkin. If a government no longer requires that, then it doesn't have to be checked.
    The news down here from Qantas isn't about vaccination. Qantas now only pay one per cent commission to travel agents. It used to be five per cent. Others are doing the same.
    Lucky's husband is a...

    Usually the airline has to comply with government regulations. If a government requires vaccination, the airline has to police it at the checkin. If a government no longer requires that, then it doesn't have to be checked.
    The news down here from Qantas isn't about vaccination. Qantas now only pay one per cent commission to travel agents. It used to be five per cent. Others are doing the same.
    Lucky's husband is a travel agent. It would be nice to hear from him about what's going on with commissions from airline and hotel bookings.

  2. rad Guest

    How is tourism going for Australia? I don't think the rest of the world thinks favorably of Australia nor Canada. Amazing how immovable and necessary rules mutate as the profit line changes.

    1. platy Guest

      @ rad

      The available data (Tourism Australia, Australian Bureau of statistics) are several months old, but May and June (estimated) data show exponential increases in international arrivals.

      Local accommodation here in Far North Queensland has been full over the last couple of weeks (school holiday period), although driven by domestic tourism.

      Qantas was due to operate at greater capacity (domestic) than pre-pandemic levels, but cut capacity (114% to 99% of pre-pandemic) to address rising fuel...

      @ rad

      The available data (Tourism Australia, Australian Bureau of statistics) are several months old, but May and June (estimated) data show exponential increases in international arrivals.

      Local accommodation here in Far North Queensland has been full over the last couple of weeks (school holiday period), although driven by domestic tourism.

      Qantas was due to operate at greater capacity (domestic) than pre-pandemic levels, but cut capacity (114% to 99% of pre-pandemic) to address rising fuel costs.

      QF International flights are running at 90% loads. Capacity is expected to be restored to 100% pre-pandemic levels by end 2022.

      "Amazing" how the rules were changed by the relevant federal and state government authorities when vaccination targets were reached in line with the health care policy adopted.

      Passengers on QF will still have to be vaccinated to travel on its aircraft to those destinations which require vaccination (most of its flights!).

      It could be more likely that the "rest of the world" would be more hesitant to visit the US than Australia given the bad press over the almost daily mass shootings, the relatively poor vaccination rates, the regressive stripping of individual rights by the Supreme Court and the incipient racism against Blacks and Hispanics by certain politicians...;)

  3. glenn t Diamond

    No mention whether mandatory vaccinations for flight crew and staff had been dropped too.

    1. platy Guest

      @ glenn t

      In one sense it's immaterial since vaccination rates in Australia are very high anyway (>95% for 16 years and over).

  4. Carrie Member

    It is disappointing to read comments with regard to Australia's 'repressive' and 'repugnant' regime without any attempt at a sophisticated or nuanced debate.

  5. Stephen Guest

    Having visited OZ many years ago (and loved it and the people) I am somewhat amazed at why no one brings up a simple fact.......The mortality rate in the world, country by country, has not gone up over the last 4 years and the percentages remain consistent by age group (GO CHECK for yourself). What has changed are the causes of death with heart attacks, cancer, etc. all having gone down....and three conclusions are possible....A)...

    Having visited OZ many years ago (and loved it and the people) I am somewhat amazed at why no one brings up a simple fact.......The mortality rate in the world, country by country, has not gone up over the last 4 years and the percentages remain consistent by age group (GO CHECK for yourself). What has changed are the causes of death with heart attacks, cancer, etc. all having gone down....and three conclusions are possible....A) It was a plandemic not a pandemic, B) All those who conspired in the "plan" are guilty of murder vis-a-vie "adverse reactions" in addition to destroying countries, people's lives, children's education, etc. C) Most amazing is not one doctor, government official, local mayor, etc......appaently did any homework at all. Are they that dumb or simply corrupt? (You may wish to share this, ask "embarassing questions" of your politiicans and others that YOU employ......or simply tell them to go away.) And it's not just your choice and your life.....it's the future of all of us.

  6. DJ Guest

    Funny how the CEO said, no one without a vaccine will ever fly Qantas again. Another liar. Wish one of these hullabaloos would say, we'll never trust government or media again.

  7. ConcordeBoy Diamond

    It's really funny when the same person adopts multiple usernames in order to post the same message, while making some of the same telltale grammatical mistakes within each one. LOL

    1. FlyingPhysicist New Member

      I know right? So many "guests" just start crawling out of nowhere to start talking about political issues. I guess people don't have anything better to do these days

    2. rad Guest

      It's when noone cares that you have a real problem. As per your request, adieu.

  8. Sidney Tropp Guest

    An army of Crocodile Dundees couldn't convince me to visit that hell hole.
    Worst 'pandemic' human rights abuses in the world, hands down.

  9. Joe Guest

    Mandate or no I shall never ever visit Australia. Dictatorial regimes are dangerous and repugnant.

    1. Steven e Guest

      PLEASE stay away and dont visit us just stay where you are as it’s so nice right? - a horrendous politically racist fuelled gun toting population killing each other - pass that onto your other “aliases “

  10. Penitent Guest

    From the horse's mouth:

    DR. FAUCI: One of the things that's clear from the data [is] that even though vaccines - because of the high degree of transmissibility of this virus - don't protect overly well, as it were, against infection, they protect quite well against severe disease leading to hospitalization and death. And I believe that's the reason, Neil, why at my age, being vaccinated and boosted, even though it didn't protect me against...

    From the horse's mouth:

    DR. FAUCI: One of the things that's clear from the data [is] that even though vaccines - because of the high degree of transmissibility of this virus - don't protect overly well, as it were, against infection, they protect quite well against severe disease leading to hospitalization and death. And I believe that's the reason, Neil, why at my age, being vaccinated and boosted, even though it didn't protect me against infection, I feel confident that it made a major role in protecting me from progressing to severe disease. And that's very likely why I had a relatively mild course. So my message to people who seem confused because people who are vaccinated get infected - the answer is if you weren't vaccinated, the likelihood [is] you would have had [a] more severe course than you did have when you were vaccinated.

  11. Dean Zlist Guest

    Australia is truly the fabled "lost continent".
    I'll spend my vacation dollars elsewhere.

  12. derek Guest

    Lots of bad behavior.

    Half of vaccinated Canadians have not gotten a booster.

    Lots of bare faced activity.

    General stupidity.

    1. SosongBlue Guest

      You must be fun to travel with!

  13. Tim Dunn Diamond

    The simple reason why QF recanted is because they were losing business for imposing their own rather than government policy

    1. lucky_fan New Member

      Didn't they also blame the passengers for the terrible customer service even though they were the ones being complete jerks?

    2. platy Guest

      @ Lucky_fan

      Kinda -yeah - the CEO, Lan Joyce, made some dumb comment about passengers not being "match fit". It didn't help their PR image!

    3. platy Guest

      @ Tim Dunn

      Not so sure, mate. Maybe more a game of smoke and mirrors.

      The only route I can think of that this would have any tangible effect would be the PER-FCO sector now that Italy had dropped vaccination requirements for arrivals. That has just been promoted extensively anyway through national press after the launch a few days ago.

      Surely, the other international routes (LAX, DFW, YVR, BKK, SIN, LHR, AKL, etc. etc) would...

      @ Tim Dunn

      Not so sure, mate. Maybe more a game of smoke and mirrors.

      The only route I can think of that this would have any tangible effect would be the PER-FCO sector now that Italy had dropped vaccination requirements for arrivals. That has just been promoted extensively anyway through national press after the launch a few days ago.

      Surely, the other international routes (LAX, DFW, YVR, BKK, SIN, LHR, AKL, etc. etc) would all require the pax to be vaccinated anyway.

      Meanwhile, QF's focus is manipulating capacity to control rising fuel costs - international aircraft are reportedly flying with over 90% loads.

      QF and Joyce - ever the PR posers - also need to deflect somehow from some very bad local publicity on domestic cancellation rates (13% against a benchmark of 2%) and poor performance (40 something % late arrivals).

  14. AJ Guest

    Surprised the dictator CEO hasn’t announced a toilet paper ban because someone threw toilet paper on his house

  15. Samuel Guest

    The vaccines don't work and the boosters don't either. Vaccine effectiveness basically drops to nothing within a few months, and is negative during the first couple of weeks after the shot is administered. Glad to see these bozos waking up the the ACTUAL science.

    1. Ant Guest

      European Journal of Internal Medicine and The New England Journal of Medicine have been published papers on the low efficacy of vaccines and have been disproving the CDC and FDA numbers of vaccine efficacy. Also, they note that the vaccines increase the risk of myocarditis and lower the sperm count in men. But, people here who aren't even medical experts will probably get pissed off even though I'm an actual doctor at a top 10...

      European Journal of Internal Medicine and The New England Journal of Medicine have been published papers on the low efficacy of vaccines and have been disproving the CDC and FDA numbers of vaccine efficacy. Also, they note that the vaccines increase the risk of myocarditis and lower the sperm count in men. But, people here who aren't even medical experts will probably get pissed off even though I'm an actual doctor at a top 10 med school internationally and claim that what I'm saying is bullcrap even though this is my field of expertise and got my MD and PhD from Harvard Med School.

    2. John Guest

      Your fabrication of your credentials is laughable, as well as your layperson "interpretation" of published research. After 2+ years of COVID, you still don't understand the difference between symptomatic and severe disease. Vaccines have always been designed to decrease severe disease and prevent death, which the vaccines still aid against.

      Try again.

    3. lucky_fan New Member

      Are you a doctor? Didn't think so. I don't agree with the people on the thread above, but you're literally proving the commenter's point above on how people will react lmao. Will say that the person is correct with myocarditis as the CDC has admitted it here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety/myocarditis.html

    4. Julia Guest

      Oh please, you are no more a Harvard graduate than the current and previous POTUS's were. You are no more qualified to speak about science than Samuel is, which is to say, not really.

      Also, the results are not quite as cut and dry as either of you are making them out to be.

      https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2119451

      https://www.factcheck.org/2021/06/scicheck-research-rebuts-baseless-claims-linking-covid-19-vaccines-to-male-infertility/

    5. David Carpenter Guest

      The sperm study reads: "Since misinformation about health-related subjects represents a public health threat, our findings should support vaccination programs."
      I would ask for your money back from Harvard.

    6. lucky_fan New Member

      I was trying to fact check you to be wrong but, there are a few articles that support the claims you're saying here, like this one: doi.org/10.1111/andr.13209

      But regardless, this is a travel blog, so y'all can go to reddit if you want to debate this stuff.

    7. platy Guest

      @ lucky_fan

      Interesting.

      The study cited concludes:

      "...we found a selective temporary decline of sperm concentration and total motile count 3 months post-vaccination followed by recovery among SD. While on first look, these results may seem concerning, from a clinical perspective they confirm previous reports regarding vaccines' overall safety and reliability despite minor short-term side effects. Since misinformation about health-related subjects represents a public health threat,23 our findings should support vaccinations programs..."

      To note that...

      @ lucky_fan

      Interesting.

      The study cited concludes:

      "...we found a selective temporary decline of sperm concentration and total motile count 3 months post-vaccination followed by recovery among SD. While on first look, these results may seem concerning, from a clinical perspective they confirm previous reports regarding vaccines' overall safety and reliability despite minor short-term side effects. Since misinformation about health-related subjects represents a public health threat,23 our findings should support vaccinations programs..."

      To note that the study is based on a very small sample size (very few individuals). Individual samples show great variation in measured parameters. The application of the statistics is thus challenged.

    8. NathanJ Gold

      How utterly astonishing that you got into Harvard replete with a complete inability to write correct English or use punctuation, 'actual doctor'.

    9. Jerry Guest

      Yeah, you are a very documented doctor, who can tell us more correctly what the LYING NEJM says. Sorry buddy your field has lost ALL integrity. You wasted hundreds of years of trust, and you won’t get it back soon.

    10. platy Guest

      @ Ant

      If you are genuinely a medical doctor (MD) and have doctoral level research credentials (PhD), then you would know the difference between "efficacy" and "effectiveness" within the context of measuring the performance of vaccines.

      The recognised side effects of some vaccines are extremely rare. They will not necessarily present in the clinical trials (the sample size is too small) which are adopted to measure "efficacy".

      They may present when you have a huge...

      @ Ant

      If you are genuinely a medical doctor (MD) and have doctoral level research credentials (PhD), then you would know the difference between "efficacy" and "effectiveness" within the context of measuring the performance of vaccines.

      The recognised side effects of some vaccines are extremely rare. They will not necessarily present in the clinical trials (the sample size is too small) which are adopted to measure "efficacy".

      They may present when you have a huge sample size, i.e. during roll out. Real world context provides the measures on "effectiveness".

      You post appears to confuse "efficacy" and "effectiveness", by citing just "efficacy".

      That is sufficient to question the credibility of your claims.

      No matter, I'll hold my own judgement since this is easy to resolve either way - please simply post the links to the references to which to refer in your post. Then we can see if such articles are what you claim. If you were a genuine research level scientist / medic, I am surprised you didn't provide the citations up front.

      You might also want to cover yourself in terms of whether you are focused on the performance of vaccines in controlling transmission, versus hospitalisation, versus ICU admission, versus mortality.

    11. LionelMandrake Guest

      They are not waking up. Just tired of not making money. I will never fly down under, nor to down under. Rather visit someplace with civil rights.

    12. Icarus Guest

      Another idiotic anti vax comment. What about polio smallpox etc ? If they didn’t work the situation would be far worse.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

ConcordeBoy Diamond

It's really funny when the same person adopts multiple usernames in order to post the same message, while making some of the same telltale grammatical mistakes within each one. LOL

3
Samuel Guest

The vaccines don't work and the boosters don't either. Vaccine effectiveness basically drops to nothing within a few months, and is negative during the first couple of weeks after the shot is administered. Glad to see these bozos waking up the the ACTUAL science.

3
Sidney Tropp Guest

An army of Crocodile Dundees couldn't convince me to visit that hell hole. Worst 'pandemic' human rights abuses in the world, hands down.

2
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