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"What Are We Waiting For?": Alan Joyce's Warning On Border Closures

It seems that fear of the pandemic isn't what is stopping people from travelling, rather the uncertainty surrounding Australia's border closures.

It seems that fear of the pandemic isn’t what is stopping people from travelling, rather the uncertainty surrounding Australia’s border closures.

Qantas boss Alan Joyce has warned tourists and students could abandon Australia if border closures remain a long-term plank of pandemic proofing.

Mr Joyce believes Australia could lose investment if travel restrictions remain a key part of responding to the virus.

“The travellers will go elsewhere. The students will go elsewhere,” he told the Australian Financial Review’s business summit.

Alan Joyce, Qantas Group CEO

The Qantas chief executive said the Australian public must be conditioned to move away from a zero-case goal as the pandemic rolls on.

“We need to be part of the world economy again,” he said. “What are we waiting for?”

Mr Joyce questioned why the focus shifted from ensuring hospitals were not overwhelmed to stamping out any local transmission.

“The one thing we could have done is say we close down the borders without any exemptions, and that would have been terrible for Australians stuck overseas,” he said.

What about health passports?

AstraZeneca Vaccine

The influential CEO also reiterated his support for a world health passport system, saying countries will require vaccination proof to allow people in.

“We already do it with yellow fever,” he said.

Mr Joyce wants an end to inconsistency between states, a two-day warning before borders shut and a timeline for border restrictions to end during the vaccine rollout.

He also raised a vaccine check for pubs and restaurants with similar measures raised by some industry figures.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is confident Australia remains on track to have offered every adult at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine by October.

The tension also builds for tomorrow’s announcement regarding the travel industry sector lifeline; with Aviation grants and business industry loans expected to replace JobKeeper payments when the wage subsidy scheme ends on March 31.

Source: AAP