Qantas drops vaccine mandates!
Qantas is to drop its controversial vaccine mandate for international travel on the 19th July, nearly two weeks after the Australian federal government lifted its own ban on unvaccinated foreign visitors entering the country.
The Department of Home Affairs dropped vaccine rules for visitors on July 6 but anyone hoping to fly to or from Australia with Qantas still had to prove they had been fully vaccinated with a vaccine approved by Australian authorities.
The BA.5 variant currently causing a spike in COVID-19 cases might not be any more transmissible than other Omicron variants but current evidence suggests it has a higher degree of vaccine escape meaning that you could end up getting infected even if you are fully vaccinated and boosted.
Qantas’ decision to drop its vaccine mandate comes as a divergence on vaccine booster dose policy starts to widen between countries. In Australia, eligibility for a fourth dose of the vaccine was recently widened to include anyone aged 30 and above.
On Monday, however, Europe’s Centre for Disease Prevention and Control concluded that a fourth dose was only currently advisable for people aged 60 and over. People aged under 60 will only be eligible for a second booster if they suffer a medical vulnerability.
Qantas has warned that anyone hoping to travel internationally will be required to submit proof of vaccination right up to the vaccine mandate cut-off date. Proof will not be required from 12:01 am on 19th July.
Spain introduces free multi-journey train tickets!
Public transport prices on state-owned service across Spain have already been slashed in half in response to rapidly rising energy and inflation rates. Now the government has announced further 100% discounts.
As of September, passengers will be able to travel across various trains operated by public train network Renfe for absolutely nothing.
Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has announced that multi-journey tickets for trains operated by the network’s public services Cercanías, Rodalies, and Media Distance (equivalent to local and medium-distance journeys) are to be free of charge from September 1 up until the end of the year.
The measure excludes single-journey tickets, or long-distance travels, according to public broadcaster TVE. Multi-journey tickets include a minimum of 10 return trips.