Qantas will hold off re-opening any more Qantas Clubs, Business Lounges and its invitation-only Chairman's Lounges until more states and territories open their domestic borders.
Previously, the airline had planned to re-open these facilities from September, but any lounges that are currently closed will remain shuttered "until further notice", Qantas confirms.
"Qantas Lounges across the network will be gradually reopened when domestic travel demand returns with the opening of state borders and subsequent increase in flights," a spokesperson for the airline tells Executive Traveller.
"As domestic network capacity is currently still sitting at 20%, the re-opening of lounges will be aligned to the increase in domestic flights."
This impacts the return of all Chairman's Lounges, as well as Qantas Clubs in Brisbane, Canberra, Darwin, Devonport, Gold Coast, Hobart, Perth, Port Hedland and Sydney.
Melbourne's Qantas Club and Business Lounge will understandably also remain closed, following an extension of Victoria's lockdown restrictions over the weekend, paired with the continuing closure of other state and territory borders that would otherwise also limit Victorians from travelling.
Rockhampton's Qantas Club is similarly still shuttered, even though all QantasLink flights from Rockhampton Airport are to destinations within Queensland, which are not impacted by current travel restrictions or border issues.
The Qantas spokesperson explains that this closure is due to "works underway in the terminal which directly impact the lounge space."
Domestic lounges that Qantas had previously re-opened will remain open for eligible travellers.
This includes Business Lounges in Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra and Perth, and Qantas Clubs in Adelaide, Alice Springs, Broome, Cairns, Coffs Harbour, Emerald, Gladstone, Kalgoorlie, Karratha, Launceston, Mackay, Tamworth and Townsville.
Qantas CEO questions border closures
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce has previously taken a stand against 'politically-motivated' border closures, calling for jurisdictions with no or few COVID-19 cases to reopen to states and territories sharing similar circumstances.
"We still don't understand why states with zero cases for a long time have borders closed to states with zero cases," Joyce said last month.
"That doesn't seem to make any medical sense, or match any (medical) advice that we've seen. Surely, these decisions should be based on the facts, the health advice, and the level of cases that we're seeing around the various states."
For example, Queensland continues to declare the ACT a COVID-19 "hotspot", which bans visitors from the territory, and requires returning Queenslanders to complete 14 days of mandatory hotel quarantine.
That's despite the ACT being COVID-free for two months, and Queensland's own description of a 'hotspot' as a "place in Australia where health officials have found a lot of people with COVID-19."
Western Australia similarly remains closed to most visitors from other states and territories, including those with no community transmission of COVID-19.
In most cases, entry into WA is granted only under special circumstances, accompanied by 14 days of compulsory quarantine.
"While timelines will be unpredictable, we need to better understand the criteria by which border decisions will be made by governments and the circumstances under which they will re-open or close again," Virgin Australia CEO Paul Scurrah echoed.