When the CEO of Australia’s national carrier, Qantas, said that the airline was looking at requiring passengers to have a COVID vaccination before they get on their planes, they received quite a pushback.
CEO Alan Joyce recently said, “Whether you need that domestically, we will have to see what happens with Covid-19 in the market. But certainly, for international visitors coming out and people leaving the country, we think that’s a necessity.” The response from potential passengers ranged the gamut from 100% support to talks of a boycott to at least one person telling them to, “Shove their vaccine up their arse” (which, I hate to tell them, is probably not how the vaccine will be administered 😉 ).
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has since hinted at a “Plan B’ of sorts for those who refuse to get the coronavirus vaccine once it’s available – anyone, whether they’re a visitor or a resident, who comes to the country without proof of receiving a COVID vaccine could be forced to quarantine for 14 days as well as pay for the hotel during their self-isolation (the country has been charging for quarantine hotels since the summer and they cost a fortune).
“We’re obviously working through those issues now, but look, where people have the choice of two weeks of quarantine or being vaccinated, I think that will be an incentive, unless there’s a genuine medical reason why,” said Morrison, when speaking to Melbourne’s Kiss FM radio.
Health Minister Greg Hunt followed by suggesting this plan is not yet written in stone.
Said Hunt, “…there’s been no final decision, but we’ve been clear, and I’ve given guidance previously that we would expect that people coming to Australia while Covid-19 is a significant disease in the world will either be vaccinated or they will isolate. That’s early guidance.
“The likely course of events during 2021 is if somebody comes to Australia and a vaccine is widely available, either they’ll be vaccinated with verification or they’ll have to quarantine.”
For Australian nationals and others who have been able to travel to Australia since COVID started, a 2-week quarantine has been necessary all along. For those who want to travel to Oz but refuse to get a vaccine, at this point, it looks as if that scenario could continue.
Feature Photo: Phil Whitehouse / Wikimedia
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary