QANTAS: Puts passengers at risk of COVID-19. Scraps vaccination requirement
Qantas will no longer require international passengers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 from Tuesday, 19 July 2022. This means that you could be travelling with a non-vaccinated passenger sitting next to you, putting you and them at risk of catching the virus.
This applies whether you are travelling from or to a country that requires passengers to be vaccinated to enter or transit through their airports. It is now vital that passengers check what the requirements are for entry or transit through a country, irrespective of Qantas requirements – or lack of them.
Qantas was the first airline in the world to introduce a ‘no jab, no fly’ rule announced way back in December 2020 once a vaccine was available. Mask wearing on Qantas flights is still mandatory – for now.
The new declaration is in line with the Australian government’s change in policy which now allows all overseas passengers entry with or without vaccination.
Personally, I think this is a bad decision, especially since we are about to face a wave of the even more infectious BA.4 and BA.5 variants of omicron.
Even if the mandated vaccination merely works as a wake-up call to passengers, it is valuable. To abandon the vaccine mandate for arriving passengers is to invite an increase in infection rates.
With COVID-19 now the major cause of death in Australia – with rates of around 300 per week, that’s 15,000 per year, this is not the time to be relaxing mandates.