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Travellers to Australia who refuse to take COVID vaccine could be forced to quarantine: PM

Travellers to Australia who refuse to take COVID vaccine could be forced to quarantine: PM

Travellers who fly to Australia without being vaccinated for COVID-19 could be forced to quarantine at their own expense, Scott Morrison said on Wednesday.

Travellers to Australia who refuse to take COVID vaccine could be forced to quarantine: PM

Speaking to KIIS FM, the prime minister said his government was “working through those issues now”, as the country prepares for a vaccine to become available.

“Where people have the choice of two weeks of quarantine or being vaccinated, I think that will be an incentive, unless there’s a genuine medical reason why,” Morrison said.

The prime minister pointed to rules regarding yellow fever as a precedent for the proposed COVID conditions of entry.

Anyone entering Australia from a country where yellow fever is prevalent is required to show documentation to prove they have been vaccinated against it.

“When there has been yellow fever and things like that there is a requirement that people are vaccinated, and if they’re not, there is a requirement to quarantine on entry into Australia,” Morrison said.

Health Minister Greg Hunt has also signalled the tough travel rules, but says a final decision has not yet been made.

“We’ve been clear, and I’ve given guidance previously that we would expect that people coming to Australia while COVID-19 is a significant disease in the world will either be vaccinated or they will isolate,’’ he said.

“The likely course of events during 2021 is if somebody comes to Australia and a vaccine is widely available, either they’ll be vaccinated with verification or they’ll have to quarantine.”

It comes after Qantas CEO Alan Joyce told A Current Affair that a vaccine will be a condition of international travel, as soon as one is rolled out.

He also said he will consider making vaccinations mandatory for domestic travel.

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

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

Joyce said he believes the stance will be “a common thing” after conversations with his colleagues from other airlines around the world.

Promising results from late-stage trials of COVID-19 vaccine candidates could lead to a vaccine rollout in the coming months, with hopes for widespread resumption of international travel in the next 12 months.

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