Qantas and Air New Zealand Lead The Way With Vaccine Mandates for Passengers As Well As Employees

Air New Zealand will follow the lead of Qantas Australia by mandating complete COVID-19 vaccinations for all passengers on international flights starting February 1, 2022. The airline announced this on Sunday.
Greg Foran, chief executive of Air New Zealand, stated that international travel is now possible if you are vaccinated against COVID-19. Foran stated that many of the places Kiwis desire to see are closed to non-vaccinated travelers. This is to support the new mandate for vaccines.

We can fly Kiwis more quickly if we are vaccinated as soon as possible.

Our World in Data reports that only 34% of New Zealand's population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Foran stated that both customers and employees had been asking the airline for a mandate to provide vaccines. The order will not be extended to international flights, however, as COVID-19 is under domestic control.

Foran said that employees heard it loud and clear during the recent consultations. We want to protect them.

Qantas has also applied the same restriction and hopes to resume international flights between Sydney and London in November.

Passenger on Qantas' first regular scheduled flight to Europe or North America within more than 18 months will need to show proof of negative PCR testing taken within 72 hours.

Alan Joyce, chief executive of Qantas, warned passengers that international travel would require full vaccination months ago. Although it was not surprising that Qantas had followed through with their passenger vaccination mandate, it has been a waiting game for other airlines to follow suit.

Even United Airlines, with a rate of vaccination of over 99.5 percent among non-exempt employees has not demanded the same from passengers.

However, all foreign passengers traveling to the United States must be fully vaccinated when the Biden administration announces new travel rules.

Foran admits that there will be some people who disagree with vaccine requirements. However, he is not apologetic.

He said that he believes this is the best thing to do in order to protect our people, customers, and the wider New Zealand community.