Virgin Australia is backing the words of its chief executive, who called for Australia’s borders to be open before mid next year even though ‘some people may die’.
Jayne Hrdlicka made the comment in a speech to a Queensland University of Technology business lunch yesterday, saying the longer the borders stay shut the more our physical and economic health will be at risk.
“Covid will be part of the community, we will become sick with Covid and it won’t put us in hospital, and it won’t put people into dire straits because we’ll have a vaccine,” Ms Hrdlicka said
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“It will make us sick but won’t put us into hospital … some people may die, but it will be way smaller than with the flu.”
The comments were then widely reported by Australian media, forcing Virgin Airlines to put out a statement last night.
“We have and will continue to work closely with both state and federal governments to support the health and safety of the Australian community,” it said.
“We agree with state and federal leaders that eradication of Covid-19 cannot be the goal for our country.
“The question is not if but when we will be sufficiently vaccinated to protect our people and our hospital system to open our international borders.
“We must learn to live with Covid-19 in the community in a way that protects the health and safety of our people but also opens Australia up to the rest of the world.”
It comes as the federal government faces more pressure to put out a timeline of what goals have to be achieved before the international borders can begin opening.
But Prime Minister Scott Morrison wouldn’t be drawn on the matter in a press conference yesterday.
Related article: Morrison silent on open border benchmark