Australia’s most popular airline – at least according to them – Qantas has made global news headlines this month with its plan to ban air travel to passengers unvaccinated for COVID-19. The bold move is one of the first to be announced in the airline industry which has seen big hits and faces an uncertain future due to the ongoing coronavirus worldwide crises. The announcement from Qantas was made by company chief Alan Joyce on the number one Australian talk show A Current Affair. The news is causing discontent amongst anti vaxxers and self-proclaimed non-anti vaxxers alike, many of whom have concerns surrounding the ethical implications of the rule.
Airline chief CEO Joyce went on to be quoted in English newspaper The Independent as believing the choice will shortly be made by other airlines across the industry: “That’s going to be a common thing talking to my colleagues in other airlines around the globe”. Alternative choices being pursued have included ankle monitoring bracelets for those unwilling to stay in designated quarantine facilities. This rule is already in place of over 12s flying into Singapore and Hong Kong currently. Rapid and thorough testing, or negative upon flight declarations from passengers have also been suggested as tactics to help reduce the two week quarantine period in force at the moment. Testing the sewage water from each flight is a potential solution to the problems with track and trace that could ease out bumps in the system in the near future.
Fears and concerns have been raised by many across Australia who want to wait before they consider the vaccine safe. Others online have been in debate about the moral considerations of the ‘no jab, no fly’ policy, seeing it as an opportunity for ‘corporate bullying’ and even as an infringement of the Nuremberg code.