Vaccine passports for overseas travel to be available for Australians from next month

International COVID-19 vaccine passports will be rolled out from October, allowing people to prove their vaccination status ahead of the resumption of overseas travel.

People wearing face masks are seen at Melbourne airport.

People wearing face masks are seen at Melbourne airport. Source: AAP

Australians will start using international vaccine passports from next month as the federal government prepares for the return of overseas travel.

The COVID-19 vaccination certificates will be available to travellers on either their phones or in printed form.

Under the nation’s reopening plan, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has suggested overseas travel will resume when states reach the 80 per cent vaccination threshold. 

Right now, around 39 per cent of the population in Australia aged over 16 is fully vaccinated. 

All travellers to Australia must undertake a mandatory two-week hotel quarantine period regardless of their vaccination status.  

Tourism Minister Dan Tehan on Wednesday said the final details of the vaccine passport were being worked through.  

“We are in the process of planning that so that in the coming weeks we will have a system up and ready,” he told reporters.  

He indicated this would help facilitate both the return of outbound and inbound international travel for Australians when vaccination thresholds reach 80 per cent. 

“Australians will be able to travel overseas again and Australians will be able to return home in greater numbers,” he said.

A home quarantine system is currently being trialled in South Australia, allowing residents arriving from NSW and Victoria to quarantine at their residence. 

Mr Morrison has indicated the shift from hotel quarantine to home quarantine will be central to the return of international travel.

“For international travel to work, we need home quarantine done,” he told Sky News on Tuesday.  

"The length of that quarantine [is] also was what we’re looking at."

 

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Wednesday said considerations were underway for what quarantine looks like for returning Australians, once vaccine targets are reached.

"There will be a transition in the quarantine system from 70 per cent double dose to 80 per cent double dose," she told reporters. 

"Once we hit 80 per cent double dose we will definitely be opening up Sydney Airport to welcome home Australians." 

The introduction of the vaccine passports will allow Australians to prove their vaccination status internationally as travel restarts.

In the United States, different rules already apply for vaccinated and unvaccinated international arrivals into the country.

People who have had vaccines approved by the World Health Organisation are able to self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and get tested three to five days after arriving.

However, those unvaccinated are required to self-quarantine for seven days following their arrival.


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Published 8 September 2021 at 11:53am
By Tom Stayner