Proof of vaccination now required at many Qantas, Virgin lounges

Don't get caught out ahead of your next trip – even lounge guests who are not actually flying have to be double-vax'd.

By Matt Lennon, December 21 2021
Proof of vaccination now required at many Qantas, Virgin lounges

Australians are once again taking to the skies, especially on domestic routes, as states and territories exit frustrating lockdowns and open their borders.

But while vaccination isn't mandatory on all flights within Australia, is is a strict requirement to enter many airport lounges – even if you're a non-flying guest of a traveller.

This is because airline lounges operate under the regulations applied to the hospitality industry in each state or territory – the same rules as may apply to a cafe or restaurant, for example – and under the shadow of Covid-19, those rules vary from one state or territory to the next.

At the time of writing, all visitors to the airport lounges of Qantas and Virgin Australia (along with smaller airlines such as Regional Express) in Victoria and Queensland must show proof of full vaccination – the mandatory two shots – before they're allowed into the lounge.

Qantas and Virgin Australia have each confirmed to Executive Traveller that this applies to everone entering the lounges in those states, regardless of whether or not they're actually flying on the day. 

That proof of vaccination can be an app-based digital vaccination certificate (such as one stowed in your iPhone's Apple Wallet) or a printed copy of your government-issued immunisation history statement.

Proof of vaccination is no longer a must-have for entering airport lounges in New South Wales, after the state last week loosened its hospitality-based restrictions.

At the time of writing there's also no need to flash your double-jabbed status at airport lounges in Canberra, Tasmania, South Australia or Western Australia –  although you'll still need to register your details with that state or territory's contact tracing app.

And obviously, as the past two years have taught us time and again, these rules are very much subject to change.

Of course, many states make it a condition of entry that you are fully vaccinated, and airlines still require all travellers to don a face mask in the lounge and during the flight.