The government will start issuing international ‘Vaccine Passports’ from October and “Australians will be able to travel overseas again,” Tourism Minister Dan Tehan confirmed on Wednesday.
The country is still fine tuning the technology supporting the passports. Those will be available either on travelers’ phones or printed.
The app (or document) will contain nearly the same information as regular passports in addition to a QR code that federal border officials can scan to check traveler’s vaccination status.
In either case, the vaccine passports would use a “visible digital seal” technology backed by the International Civil Aviation Organization.
“In the coming weeks we will have the system up and ready,” Tehan told reporters.
The passports will be part of an internationally agreed system that will simplify travel among Australian travel bubbles.
“Wherever you’re required to prove you have a vaccination certificate you’ll be able to do so,” said the Minister.
The government had previously announced that overseas travel would resume as soon as the country reached 80% full vaccination threshold.
Rolling out of a vaccine passport in October came as a surprise since Australia has only been able to vaccinate 39% of its eligible population.
But chances are the government will speed up its vaccination drives to restart travel on December 18.
Although the country extended its “biosecurity emergency period” through December 17, Qantas Airlines is gearing up to resume travel to Singapore, London, Los Angeles and Vancouver on December 18.
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce recently stated that the government “agree with [their] broad assumptions, and agree that [their] plan was reasonable.”
Also, the NSW government will implement a vaccine passport trial allowing Aussies to come back to pubs, coffee shops and restaurants where they will need to use their vaccine passports to be permitted access.
It is expected that other states join the initiative right after.
“A business under property law has the ability to say ‘no, you can’t come in’, and they can ask for (a vaccine passport), that’s a legitimate thing for them to do, and they’re doing that to protect their own workers, to protect their other clients, ” said Prime Minister Scott Morrison a few days ago.