Monday, November 30, 2020
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Airlines evaluate requiring mandatory vaccine against covid-19 for international passengers

In this July 6, 2020 file photo, a Qantas Airbus A380 arrives at the Southern California Logistics Airport in Victorville, California. (AP Photo / Matt Hartman, file)

International air travel could come back with everything next year, but with a new rule: Travelers to certain countries will need to get vaccinated against the coronavirus before they can fly.

Encouraging news on vaccine development has given airlines and nations hope that they can soon reactivate the suspended flight routes and dust off the lucrative tourist plans. But the countries of Asia and the peaceful, in particular, are Determined not to let their hard-earned gains against the virus evaporate.

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In Australia, the head of Qantas, the nation’s largest airline, said that once a vaccine against the virus is widely available, your airline will likely require passengers to use it before they can travel abroad or land in Australia.

Qantas CEO, Alan Joyce, said he has been talking to his counterparts on other airlines around the world about the possibility of a “vaccination passport” for international travelers.

“We are looking to change our terms and conditions to tell international travelers that we will ask people to get vaccinated before getting on the plane.”Joyce told Australian television Network Nine.

Said they were looking for ways to electronically verifying that people have the necessary vaccine for their intended destination, a difficult task.

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“But certainly for the international visitors who come and the people who leave the country, we think it is a necessity”, said.

The largest airline in South Korea gave a similar message. Jill Chung, spokesperson for Korean Airsaid Tuesday that there is a real possibility that airlines require passengers to be vaccinated. She said that’s because governments are likely requiring vaccines like condition to lift quarantine requirements for newcomers.

Korean Air planes at Seoul airport (EFE / EPA / YONHAP)
Korean Air planes at Seoul airport (EFE / EPA / YONHAP)

While Korean Air you are reviewing various revision possibilities, any changes by the company or other airlines would be the result of coordination with governments, Chung said.

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“This is not something that airlines can decide independently,” said.

Air New Zealand echoed Chung’s position.

“Ultimately, it is up to governments to determine when and how it is safe to reopen borders and we continue to work closely with authorities on this,” Air New Zealand said in a statement.

Australia, South Korea and New Zealand have managed to minimize the spread of the virus. They are viewed internationally as success stories and a large part of their containment effort has focused on keeping infectious people out.

Australia has imposed some of the toughest border restrictions in the world since the pandemic began. It has closed its borders to most international visitors and has allowed its own citizens to travel internationally only in special circumstances. New Zealand has also closed its borders, while South Korea has imposed a two-week quarantine on all arriving passengers.

The situation in Europe and the US

In Europe, a continent hit hard by the pandemic, Most of the airlines ruled out or did not want to comment on the adoption of this type of measure.

Ryanair, the second airline in Europe by passenger numbers told the portal The confidential what “will not request any certificate to vaccinate their passengers ”as they believe that the restrictions will be lifted in spring 2021 as mass vaccination of the population has begun.

Ryanair planes at Dublin airport (REUTERS / Jason Cairnduff / file)
Ryanair planes at Dublin airport (REUTERS / Jason Cairnduff / file)

Air France- KLM, another of the major airlines of the continent, said for its part that “At the moment it is not possible to determine the precise conditions that will govern the transport of passengers once the vaccine is available.”

In United States, airlines like American Airlines, Delta O Southwest, they think that It is too early to give an answer because there is still a long time for the vaccine to become a reality.

Other measures

Even without waiting for the arrival of a vaccine, the industry has already begun to take steps to resume flights safely.

Last week the first flight of United Airlines “coronavirus free” landed in London from Newark.

In On “coronavirus-free” flights, passengers must undergo a PCR or rapid test before boarding the plane.

A few days later a similar measure was announced for flights between Italy and the United States. The first months these trips will be offered progressively, as an experimental method, until they are made available to the public for the summer season of 2021.

Japan Airlines employees at Naritade Tokyo International Airport (REUTERS / Issei Kato)
Japan Airlines employees at Naritade Tokyo International Airport (REUTERS / Issei Kato)

Chung said there is already one variety of discussions within the industry to ensure safer travel during the pandemic. These include “Common Pass” tests, an app endorsed by the World Economic Forum that aims to provide a standardized format for airlines to evaluate passenger coronavirus test results to determine whether they should travel.

“As the world draws closer to coronavirus vaccines and negative tests are also becoming requirements to remove travelers from self-quarantine in countries around the world, airlines feel the need for an effective system to screen passengers for vaccinations and tests “Chung said.

In this framework, International Air Transport Association announced that it will launch a “travel passport” in the form of an application that will gather all the necessary information on the health procedures to be fulfilled before embarking on an international trip.


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