A plane flying through the sky via Pexels
A plane flying through the sky via Pexels

Lloyd Burr: It’s time for vaccines to be mandatory for domestic flights

Lloyd Burr 28/10/2021

OPINION: It defies logic that unvaccinated people are allowed to travel on domestic flights. 

A few weeks ago, Air New Zealand said all those flying with them internationally must be fully vaccinated. 

No jab, no fly. 

Great policy. 

So why hasn’t that same policy been applied to domestic travel? 

We’ve had unvaccinated people flying around the country on small turbo prop planes, while sitting in close proximity to each other. 

Unvaccinated people are more likely to catch Covid, which means they’re more likely to transmit it too. 

That is a recipe for disaster when you put them in an airport, then a long thin tube in the sky, and then an airport again. 

It puts other passengers at risk. It puts the crew at risk. It put the airport ground crew at risk. 

So it’s about time vaccines are mandated for domestic air travel. 

It’s a no brainer. 

And it’s a good way to encourage the unvaccinated, to get vaccinated. 

No jab, no fly. 

The government says the positive case in Christchurch tested negative before and after the flight from Auckland, but we’re yet to see if they were infectious while on the plane. 

More cases could yet come out of the woodwork. 

Now I know that we need to learn to live with Covid, and that nationwide transmission is inevitable. But that’s not a licence to be reckless. 

We still need to prevent it from becoming even more of a crisis than it is, while vaccination rates aren’t as high as they should be.

At the very least, for those flying in and out of level 3 areas, vaccines should be mandatory. 

But if they want to make the skies safer, and slow the spread of this bastardly virus, it’s time for domestic air travel to require vaccine certificates. How hard can it be?

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