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Qantas boss Alan Joyce says Australia should open international borders

Qantas boss Alan Joyce has declared there is no reason why Australia shouldn't open its international borders for flights as planned in late October - before criticising the government's snail-like current vaccine rollout.

Joyce has urged the government to be proactive when it comes to mass vaccinations, and stressed the nation can't afford to 'fall behind' compared to other countries.

'There should be no reason why we don't open up international borders,' Joyce told reporters on Thursday, just days before the trans-Tasman travel bubble officially launches in New Zealand next week.

'We know other countries are ahead of us [with the vaccine rollout] … we cannot be laggers here and fall behind the rest of the world. We will fall behind economically and some sectors will take a hit. I think the government is aware of that.

Qantas boss Alan Joyce wants the government to speed up its current vaccination rollout, fearing Australia is 'falling behind' other countries

Qantas have every intention to resume international flights on October 31 this year - despite fears the slow vaccination rollout will further delay the process

'Anything that speeds up the vaccination in Australia is a great thing, and gets us up to the numbers we are seeing around the rest of the world.'

Earlier this week, Health Minister Greg Hunt raised fears after stating even after the whole country is vaccinated against Covid-19, there is no guarantee borders will instantly re-open.

'Vaccination alone is no guarantee that you can open up,' he said.

'And this was a discussion that in fact I had with (Chief Medical Officer) Professor Murphy....that (even) if the whole country were vaccinated, you couldn't just open the borders.'

Recent world rankings have revealed just how slow Australia has been in its vaccination roll-out.

In a genuine cause for concern, Australia is said to be level with African nation Botswana and is ranked 76th out of 152 countries in another.

Joyce has also confirmed Qantas will implement a permanent 'no jab, no fly' policy for all its passengers.

'We are regarded as the safest airline in the world...and we do think it should be a requirement that people are vaccinated on our aircraft,' he said.

'We know it's going to take a while to get confidence back.'

Australia's national Covid vaccine rollout was thrown into turmoil last week, after medicine regulators ruled the AstraZeneca jab should not be issued to anyone under 50 due to the risk of blood clotting.

Australia had been relying on the Oxford University-developed vaccine to make up the bulk of its rollout.

Now the federal government is scrambling to secure millions of doses of the Pfizer vaccine - which aren't expected to arrive on Australian shores until the final quarter of this year.

PM Scott Morrison (pictured in Perth) is planning to set up mass vaccination hubs in Australia

Mr Morrison wants under 50s to be rapidly jabbed with Pfizer or Novavax shots, which are yet to be approved, towards the end of 2021

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Wednesday he plans to hold weekly National Cabinet meetings with state leaders and health chiefs to address the bungled vaccine rollout. 

Morrison also stated this week he 'would like' all Australians to get at least their first vaccination dose by the end of 2021, but made no guarantees.

In a desperate attempt to get the stalled program back on track, he plans to create mass state hubs to ramp up vaccination numbers.

Mr Morrison revealed he has spoken to at least one premier - understood to be NSW leader Gladys Berejiklian - about getting millions of Australians vaccinated rapidly once there is enough supply of domestically produced vaccine in June or July.

Ms Berejiklian has already vowed to set up a hub at the Sydney Olympic Park after criticising the federal government over the slow rollout which has fallen well short of its targets so far. 

Scott Morrison also stated this week he 'would like' all Australians to get at least their first vaccination dose by the end of 2021 - but made no guarantees

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