Qantas boss Alan Joyce says there is NO reason why Australia shouldn’t open its international borders – and warns our struggling vaccine rollout will only leave us ‘behind’
- Alan Joyce expects Australia to operate international flights from October 31
- The Qantas boss wants the Morrison government to speed up the rollout of vaccinations
- Joyce has stressed that Australia cannot afford to fall behind other countries
- Trans-Tasman’s New Zealand travel bubble is officially launched next week
Qantas boss Alan Joyce has stated there is no reason why Australia should not open its international borders to flights as planned in late October – before criticizing the government’s snail-like vaccine rollout.
Joyce has urged the government to be proactive when it comes to mass vaccinations, stressing that the nation cannot afford to ‘fall behind’ compared to other countries.
“There should be no reason why we are not opening international borders,” Joyce told reporters on Thursday, just days before the trans-Tasman travel bubble officially launches in New Zealand next week.
‘We know that other countries are ahead of us [with the vaccine rollout] … We cannot lag behind here and lag behind the rest of the world. We will lag behind economically and some sectors will be hit. I think the government is aware of that.
Qantas boss Alan Joyce wants government to speed up current vaccination rollout, fearing Australia will ‘fall behind’ other countries
Qantas plans to resume international flights on October 31 this year – despite fears, slow vaccination rollout will further slow down the process
“Anything that speeds up vaccination in Australia is great, and it helps us with the numbers we’re seeing around the world.”
Earlier this week, Health Secretary Greg Hunt raised his fears after he even stated After the entire country has been vaccinated against Covid-19, there is no guarantee that the borders will reopen immediately.
“Vaccination alone is no guarantee that you can open up,” he said.
“And this was a discussion I actually had with (Chief Medical Officer) Professor Murphy … that (even) if the whole country was vaccinated, you couldn’t just open the borders.”
Recent world rankings have revealed just how slow Australia is in rolling out vaccinations.
Genuine cause for concern is that Australia ranks on par with the African nation of Botswana, ranking 76th out of 152 countries in another country.
Joyce has also confirmed that Qantas will implement a permanent one no jab, no fly policy for all passengers.
“We are considered the safest airline in the world … and we think it should be a requirement that people be vaccinated on our plane,” he said.
“We know it will be a while before we regain confidence.”
The introduction of the national Covid vaccine in Australia was in turmoil last week after drug regulators ruled that the AstraZeneca shot should not be given to anyone under 50 due to the risk of blood clotting.
Australia relied on the vaccine developed by Oxford University to do most of the rollout.
Now the federal government is struggling to secure millions of doses of the Pfizer vaccine – expected to arrive on the Australian coast only in the last quarter of this year.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison (pictured in Perth) plans to set up massive vaccination centers in Australia
Morrison wants young people under 50 to be stabbed quickly by the end of 2021 with Pfizer or Novavax shots, which have yet to be approved.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Wednesday that he plans to hold weekly national cabinet meetings with state leaders and heads of health to address the failed vaccine rollout.
Morrison also stated this week that he ‘would like’ all Australians to receive at least their first vaccination dose by the end of 2021, but made no guarantees.
In a desperate bid to get the stalled program back on track, he plans to create massive state hubs to increase vaccinations.
Mr Morrison revealed that he has spoken with at least one prime minister – believed to be NSW leader Gladys Berejiklian – about vaccinating millions of Australians as soon as enough domestically produced vaccine is available in June or July.
Ms Berejiklian has already vowed to set up a hub in Sydney Olympic Park after criticizing the federal government for its slow rollout, which has so far lagged far behind targets.
Scott Morrison also stated this week that he ‘would like’ all Australians to have at least their first vaccination dose by the end of 2021 – but made no guarantees.