Qantas urges clear rules for hopping over borders

September 10, 2020
Photo: Qantas

Australia’s national airline Qantas is urging politicians to agree on rules to enable it to hop over borders and re-open domestic tourism.

Qantas says the country needs border openings based on medical risk assessments and a common definition of what constitutes a COVID hotspot.

Last month Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said it was difficult to understand why states with no or low levels of COVID infection were closed to other states with similarly low levels.”

“Nobody has an issue with the international borders being closed, that’s protected Australia. Nobody’s had an issue with the borders to Victoria being closed. But it’s very clear that we don’t have clear guidelines for when the borders will open or when they will close, Mr. Joyce said last month.

“We have a situation where there are large numbers of states and territories that have had zero cases and they’re not even open to each other.”

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Mr. Joyce is urging for a framework for what will allow borders to open to give certainty to the tourism industry and to airlines.

To help in its campaign the airline is encouraging its employees and suppliers to sign a petition in support of “Safely open our borders”.

Qantas has 22,000 staff stood down and works with 10,000 suppliers.

Mr Joyce has warned that JobKeeper is helping a lot of states and businesses at the moment, but says we need to get people back in jobs, “otherwise we’re going to have a cliff that’s going to be bigger than the financial impact that COVID-19 has already caused.”

“We need to do that in a safe way, but at the moment it’s not clear what those rules are going to be and how they’re going to be applied and I think that’s a problem for a lot of business, it’s a problem for all business and eventually it’s going to be a big problem for the economy.”