Australians will have to undergo FOUR Covid tests to travel abroad with Qantas when the border reopens, even with a vaccine passport – as airline boss claims seven-day home quarantine is ‘unsustainable’
- Australians traveling abroad must undergo four Covid-19 tests
- Fully vaccinated passengers must also carry proof of vaccination status
- International travelers must also be quarantined at home for seven days
- Qantas boss Alan Joyce has flagged quarantine system as ‘unsustainable’
- Fears quarantine mandate could deter international tourists and business travelers
Australians will need to have as many as four Covid tests and proof of vaccination status in order to travel abroad, Qantas chief Alan Joyce has revealed.
Speaking from Boston at the International Air Transport Association (IATA) annual meeting, Mr Joyce explained in detail what international travel will look like for travel-hungry Aussies in the coming months.
The Qantas CEO said passengers should be tested for the virus before leaving Australia and before boarding their return flight home.
Two additional Covid tests are required during the seven-day home quarantine period.
The airline will partner with IATA to develop technology for a ‘digital travel pass’ in the hopes of making the experience as automated as possible.
Joyce also worried that the quarantine system is unsustainable and fears it would deter international tourists and business travelers from coming to Australia.
He said he hoped the isolation period would be reduced “quite soon” to 72 hours and then lifted completely, The Australian reported.
Qantas boss Alan Joyce (pictured) says international travelers will have to undergo four Covid tests along with a vaccine passport when overseas flights resume
Tests are required before departure from Australia, before the return flight home and two more times in home quarantine (pictured, a man undergoes a Covid-19 test)
“If the virus is circulating in Victoria and New South Wales when borders open and lockdowns have ended, then there will be no more risk for a person coming from the UK and US,” Joyce said.
“Certainly, we have to move up from seven days to get tourists and business travelers traveling again.”
Qantas and the Australian Border Force will work closely to ensure that travelers flying to London or Los Angeles are fully vaccinated.
Checks will also be made to ensure passengers have undergone Covid testing and to ensure travelers have a home to quarantine upon their return.
Work is also reportedly underway on an app that uses geolocation and facial recognition technology to ensure home quarantine is carried out.
Despite the new requirements, demand for overseas flights on sale in mid-November had been overwhelming for the airline, with Qantas to add more services in the coming hours.
Joyce has labeled Australia’s seven-day quarantine period ‘unsustainable’, fearing it could deter international tourists and travelers from coming to the country (photo, Qantas aircraft fleet)
Qantas has resumed flights from November 14 with flights between Sydney and Los Angeles and Sydney and London, as Australians will travel abroad from next month.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the changes on Friday that will apply to all states and territories with 80 percent vaccination coverage.
Fully vaccinated travelers must enter a seven-day isolation period, while quarantine-free travel can be instituted for certain countries, such as New Zealand.
Unvaccinated Australians will still be required to complete the mandatory 14-day quarantine period in hotels or designated facilities on their return.
Aussies who cannot be vaccinated, including those under the age of 12 or with a medical condition, will be treated as vaccinated before travel.
States and territories will resume international travel at different times, given varying levels of vaccination coverage.
Current forecasts say NSW will meet the 80 percent target by October 16.
Victoria reaches the milestone on November 23, Queensland on December 8 and Western Australia on December 15.
The reopening of the international border would mean residents of NSW and Victoria can fly to London or New York due to the closure of the state borders for Brisbane or Perth.
Australians have been banned from leaving the country since March 18, 2020 under strict biosecurity laws to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.