Temperature checks, masks vital for flying in COVID times
Airport temperature checks are more important to Queenslanders keen to fly than waiting on a vaccine, The Courier-Mail's Your Say 2020 sentiment survey has revealed.
Three-quarters of respondents to the survey - the biggest of its kind in Queensland - said temperature checks before and after flights would encourage them to fly again, ahead of 70.5 per cent for a COVID-19 vaccine being available.
Nearly two-thirds said making masks mandatory inside airports would also encourage them to fly.
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But 31.9 per cent said nothing would make them comfortable to fly or travel any time soon.
Almost half - 48.4 per cent - of respondents were unsatisfied with the government and health authority leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic, 40.1 per cent were happy with it and 11.5 per cent described themselves as neither.
Gold Coast residents were far less satisfied, with almost 60 per cent unhappy.
Far North Queensland and Gold Coast residents also reported more cuts to hours and jobs losses since the pandemic, but across the state 74.2 per cent of respondents said it had made no difference to their employment.
But across the board, all regions recorded a negative impact on family life, felt most again on the Gold Coast then Far North and North Queensland.
Queensland Tourism Industry Council chief executive officer Daniel Gschwind said the community needed to develop ways to live safely with COVID but keep moving.
"We will have to face the reality that some infections will be around possibly for quite a long time and it'll have to be managed in a safe way," Mr Gschwind said.
"The economic cost hasn't really hit us yet. We have had, thankfully, so much government support, state and federal, and as we are weaned off that support, I think there's a realisation that we really do have to get back to business somehow, sooner rather than later."
In response to dissatisfaction with government leadership during the pandemic, a State Government spokesman said: "Queensland's acknowledged success in dealing with the
pandemic means being able to go about our daily lives without the lockdowns and restrictions in other places.
"We have followed the health advice allowing us to start implementing our economic recovery plan getting the economy to rebound, not the virus."
A Brisbane Airport spokeswoman said airlines and airports had done a lot of work to develop COVID-safe rules to help people travel again.
"It is reassuring to see the vast majority of those surveyed are willing to fly again in the next 12 months," she said.
"In the longer term, waiting for a vaccine can't be the only plan to reopen our international borders because no-one really knows how long that could take.
"There are many exciting developments in new technologies and protocols being developed around the world, including rapid testing of passengers prior to departure."
Originally published as More important than a vaccine when it comes to flying again