shot injection

Zimbabwe offers COVID-19 vaccinations for foreigners. Image: Adobe Stock

COVID-19 vaccination to become compulsory for Qantas passengers

Proof you’ve had the shot will become mandatory for international travel on this airline.

shot injection

Zimbabwe offers COVID-19 vaccinations for foreigners. Image: Adobe Stock

The vaccination will be a requirement for all passengers travelling on international flights operated by Qantas Airlines once a coronavirus vaccine has been rolled out.

The announcement of a vaccine comes as good news for many, not least for airlines and other businesses whose activities have been severely constrained by ongoing restrictions to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.

Many international airlines may, like the Australian carrier, start to require proof of COVID-19 vaccinations from passengers once the vaccine is readily available. This may become the new norm for air travel.  


According to recent statements by Qantas CEO Alan Joyce, passengers travelling on the country’s national carrier will need to be vaccinated before they can travel on its international scheduled flights.

In a recent interview on Australian news, Joyce said Qantas would insist that passengers on its international flights would be required to provide evidence of having been vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus – once the airline resumed scheduled flights to international destinations.

“For international travellers, we will ask people to have a vaccination before they get on the aircraft.’’


Joyce said Qantas would not resume international flights until a vaccine was available. This was for the benefit of both the airline’s staff and its passengers.

In an interview with Tracy Grimshaw of Australia’s channel 9 News, Joyce said international passengers travelling to Australia, as well as passengers travelling on Qantas’s international flights from Australia, would be required to present proof of COVID-19 vaccinations before being allowed to board Qantas flights once the vaccine was available.

“Certainly, for international visitors coming out and people leaving the country we think that’s a necessity,” Joyce said in the interview.


Qantas has no imminent plans of restarting flights to many of the international destinations it served before Australia’s travel ban grounded the airline’s fleet in March. High rates of infection in  countries where Qantas previously operated flights have meant the airline is not prepared to resume international flights.

“Unfortunately, with the levels of the virus in the US and in Europe, we’re not going to see operations to those destinations in any real strength until we see a vaccine being rolled out, which is likely towards the end of 2021,” Joyce said.


Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison previously indicated the Australian government’s position regarding entry requirements for visitors to Australia once the country reopened its borders.

Morrison suggested vaccination would be “as mandatory as you can possibly make it” in statements made earlier in 2020. Morrison said individuals with medical conditions might be exempted from the vaccination requirement.

“There are always exemptions for any vaccine on medical grounds, but that should be the only basis,” he said in August.

However, Morrison later said in an interview on Sydney-based radio station 2GB that the government would not make vaccinations a mandatory requirement for entry to Australia.

“It’s not going to be compulsory to have the vaccine. I mean, we can’t hold someone down and make them take it.”

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison

Watch Alan Joyce’s Channel 9 news interview here.