Airline alliances call for quarantine exemption for vaccinated flyers

Star Alliance, Oneworld and SkyTeam back a global adoption of standardised 'vaccination passports'.

By David Flynn, June 10 2021
Airline alliances call for quarantine exemption for vaccinated flyers

Star Alliance, Oneworld and SkyTeam have joined forces to call for governments to reopen borders and restart international travel using  "a common set of travel and health standards."

The groups, which represent 59 airlines around the world, suggest the global framework would built on three pillars:

  • fully vaccinated passengers should be exempt from quarantine
  • COVID-19 testing should be easily accessible, affordable and consistent
  • connecting passengers at airports should not be subject to additional testing or quarantine restrictions at the point of transfer if remaining in the transit zone

The three global alliances also support the adoption of digital systems for managing travel health credentials such as vaccine and test certificates – often called 'vaccination passports' – which are increasingly seen as the key to unlocking quarantine-free travel.

"Vaccination will have a key role in the restart of international air travel and tourism," the CEOs of each alliance said in a joint statement.

"We strongly advocate for governments to accept accredited vaccination as a safe and appropriate reason to avoid quarantines."

Their plea comes ahead of this week's G7 summit, and follows a push by UK and US airlines for the resumption of travel between the two countries, saying government curbs on the world’s most lucrative air route are holding back an economic recovery.

"International air travel and tourism are vital to the global economy," the airline alliance statement continued.

"With considerable data now available to support government decisions in managing risks, decisive action from G7 members to open borders and support clear, consistent, and data-driven measures, would remove uncertainty, particularly around testing and quarantine."


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Not all vaccines have the same efficacy though. How will they reconcile that?


09 May 2020

Total posts 570


In Australia we have people who doesn’t want any COVID vaccine, those who want to pick and choose or wait for others to have the vaccine, and those who can’t get any vaccine now even if they want it on top of those who had or going to have the vaccine regardless of type.

In UK and US the proportions are different but largely more people will get the vaccine regardless of type.

In many other countries most people either cannot get vaccine whatever the price or have no choice over the type it vaccinations are available. 

WHO also approved Chinese vaccine for use (the Russian Sputnik expected the ok in next 2 months) as were the EU/UK/US vaccine.

For many of the people in the world who got vaccinated against COVID-19, they may not be able to get another vaccine in their healthcare system in their lifetime, or even a booster shot, unlike the citizens of rich G7 nations

If any country decides to discriminate arrivals based on vaccine brand, it runs the risk of legal lawsuits by human rights groups but more importantly they lock out one of the biggest bloc of spending tourists (the Chinese) 


04 Apr 2014

Total posts 209

So in NZ at least when you go into the country and into MIQ, they don’t ask if you are vaccinated.  Ever.  So if you ask them ‘has anyone who’s vaccinated tested positive?’, they wouldn’t know.  

26 Mar 2020

Total posts 65

David I'm glad you have opened up the comments for this topic as it is a pressing issue for all of us on this page.

Unfortunately, the Australian Government policy on this matter seems stuck in 2020 - anytime there is debate about exploring options for "SAFE" re-opening of borders - it gets whitewashed by lazy arguments such as "Have you seen the UK or USA daily numbers etc".

Even this week there are some people that think both the UK and USA still have daily deaths in the thousands and haven't realized that the global covid situation is fast evolving into the next phase (recovery and reopening). 

There has been no road map from the Australian Government on what a vaccinated Australia actually looks like - none whatsoever.

As far as i know even after vaccinated in Australia (masks will still be required, lockdowns will still apply, International borders will still be closed and we will still be living in March 2020).

Matters like vaccine passports and how international travel will work once the population is vaccinated should be have been worked months ago.

The issue is beyond the point of frustration - the only time we are going to wake is when we hear people in the USA or Europe enjoying travel again while we remain (even after fully vaccinated) stuck in year 2020 in continuous lockdowns over single-digit cases.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer - Chairmans Lounge

01 Sep 2011

Total posts 413

This should not just be the alliances, IATA should be joining in as well and the airlines could consider being even stronger in the push to do what they are suggesting, start massive petitions, start reducing and even removing the benefits and what not that bureaucrats and politicians are provided by the airlines.  Let them feel the inconvenience. There must be a unified approach. I'm not normally a militant person but I've had my fill of the politicians and bureaucrats with their mixed messages and constantly moving the goal posts. 98% of my business is overseas. It's just nonsense. And why is there no home quarantine in Australia? I am FULLY vaccinated. These so-called decision makers think my home, where I live alone in a detached house with 2.5m high fencing all around is not as safe as a hotel room that has been used by dozens of people who have been quarantined. It's a joke.


13 Jan 2021

Total posts 7

Australia has been let down by poor leadership at both the state and federal level. While lockdowns etc continue to be popular with the general public, the governments wont change. Their focus is always on re-election. However we are starting to see the resentment to lockdowns increasing and overreach by premiers especially in Qld. We need the media to push for quarantine free travel for fully vaccinated aussies rather than continue the fear campaign. Quarantine free travel has already started for US and EU residents, this will pressure the Australian government to eventually accept science, accept that mRNA vaccines are the only way out and join the world again. The building of quarantine facilities is a waste of money, vaccinations are the real solution not locking up citizens. 

07 May 2020

Total posts 151

I doubt that Vaccination Passports will ever fly because it will be too difficult to establish standards, much too expensive and most importantly, no government is going to give a commercial concern access to the private medical records of their citizens.


04 Apr 2014

Total posts 209

We've had vaccination 'passports' for decades.  It's called the "Model International Certificate of Vaccination", also known as Carte Jaune or Yellow Card, is issued by the WHO.  Quite why everyone thinks we need something else is beyond me.

Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Airline alliances call for quarantine exemption for vaccinated flyers