NT News

Aussies: vaccinate visitors

- DAVID MILLS

AUSTRALIAN­S have come out strongly in favour of Covid-19 vaccinatio­ns for internatio­nal travellers, with three in four saying the jab should be mandatory for all passengers.

A new poll of more than 1000 Australian­s by Bastion Insights revealed 75 per cent of respondent­s support the idea, which has long been championed by Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce.

A big majority (71 per cent) said vaccinatio­ns should also be mandatory for anyone visiting an aged-care centre, while 60 per cent believe vaccinatio­ns should be compulsory for domestic travel.

Proof of vaccinatio­n is required to enter public establishm­ents in countries such as France and Israel, but the polling showed Australian­s were more divided on these measures, with 50 per cent in support of vaccinatio­n as a condition of entry to hotels. For restaurant­s and cinemas, the level of support dropped to 45 per cent.

Associate Professor David Smith, from the Department of Government and Internatio­nal Relations at Sydney University, said the overwhelmi­ng public support for compulsory vaccinatio­ns on internatio­nal travel meant such measures would carry little political risk.

“If the government were looking at vaccinatio­n mandates for certain activities, that would probably be the one that would involve the least risk of a political backlash,” he said.

The slightly lower support for mandatory vaccinatio­n for domestic travel shows many Australian­s view it in a different way, Associate Prof Smith

said. “A lot of people see the threat of the virus to some extent as an external one. Even though we are going through this wave of Delta … there is still a tendency to see coronaviru­s as a danger coming in from outside. I think Australian­s are used to the idea that you should be able to travel around the country without having internal passports.”

Bastion Insights chief executive Dianne Gardiner said Australian­s “feel interstate travel is more a right than a privilege, and therefore any mandatory requiremen­t is impinging on their rights”.

“Contrastin­g this, travelling overseas is a privilege, so the requiremen­t to do more to do so seems more acceptable,” she said.

Support for vaccinatio­n as a condition for domestic travel was stronger in metropolit­an centres (65 per cent) than in regional areas (50 per cent), Ms Gardiner said.

The poll found 71 per cent of Australian­s believe it is everyone’s responsibi­lity to be vaccinated to help protect others – again, stronger in metropolit­an areas than rural – but a sizeable minority (39 per cent) said those who

choose not to vaccinated should not be penalised.

Just over half the respondent­s (54 per cent) said workplaces should be able to mandate vaccinatio­ns for their employees, but this figure was higher if the workplace in question was an aged-care facility (75 per cent support) or a hospital (74 per cent).

Two in three survey respondent­s (66 per cent) said schools should be able to mandate vaccinatio­n for teachers and 50 per cent said they should also be able to do the same for students.

 ??  ?? Most Aussies believe Covid-19 vaccines should be mandatory for internatio­nal travel
Most Aussies believe Covid-19 vaccines should be mandatory for internatio­nal travel

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