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Australia To Trial Vaccine Passport Sparking Hopes Of International Travel

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Australia has announced that it will be trialing vaccine passports in the near future, sparking hopes that international travel may yet be possible before the end of the year. Australians have largely been unable to leave the country – other than to visit the neighboring island of New Zealand as part of their travel bubble – since the earliest days of the pandemic, and few have been permitted to enter the country.

australia night panorama

A country that has made headlines for its no-nonsense, strict approach to handling the pandemic, the move is bound to be a welcome step in the right direction for both Australian travel fans and countries that depend on tourism from Australian travelers. Here’s a closer look at the steps Australia are taking towards the use of a vaccine passport, plus a reminder of what’s already been said about the country reopening.

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Australia’s Vaccine Passports – Information For Travelers 

When considering Australia’s safety-first approach to managing the pandemic, travelers would be forgiven for thinking that international travel resuming in the country this year had no chance of happening. From states going into lockdown over just a handful of cases to putting their travel bubble with New Zealand on hold several times due to cases rising, Australia’s measured approach might have resulted in a low number of cases, but it has also led to travel opportunities being few and far between. However, that could all be set to change. 

australia kangaroo

On Sunday, Australia’s Minister for Trade and Tourism Dan Tehan revealed that the country would be trialing a vaccine passport for international travel. The initial rollout will see them used for diplomatic missions overseas before they are available for the general public to use. Countries earmarked to be part of the vaccine passport’s first destinations include Singapore, Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom, the US and neighbouring Pacific Islands. 

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Whilst the vaccine passports may only be in the hands of a select few for now, the plan is for it to spread to the masses following the conclusion and review of its initial trial period. Speaking about why Australia has decided to launch the vaccine passport in such a way, Minister Tehan said:

“So when that international border opens we want to make sure we’re ready for people to be able to travel again and, you know, it’s incredibly important that we’re doing that preparatory work.”

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The vaccine passport is set to come to fruition in the form of a QR code that would be linked to real passports. When scanned, the QR code will reveal the vaccination status of both inbound and outbound travelers, ensuring only those who are vaccinated are able to enter or leave the country. Inbound travelers who have been vaccinated in other countries must have received vaccines that have been approved by Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). The vaccines currently on that list are  Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson.

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Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison had previously said that the country would open up to international travel when the vaccination rate reached 80%. At present, 34% of Australians are fully vaccinated, with 55% having received a single dose of a vaccine, meaning they are still some way off their target. 

The country is currently in the midst of the worst period of the pandemic so far. The daily average of Covid-19 cases currently sits just above 1,700, whilst the country recorded its highest daily cases total on Saturday, when 2,032 tests came back positive – putting their plans of resuming international travel before Christmas in serious doubt. 

qantas airplane over sydney

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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling.  Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories


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James

Tuesday 14th of September 2021

Vaccine passports are a crime and a disgrace that we let these governments get away with what they are doing. Travel should be free and open. I can accept testing but that is as far as it goes. Nobody should be forcefully injected with anything or Quarantined like a prisoner

Liberty

Tuesday 14th of September 2021

Australia's government is criminal and illegitimate. Preventing a citizen from leaving and returning is a violation of human rights. (UN Charter of Human Rights.)

It is also irrational and unscientific. If these vaccines are effective, then vaccine passports are useless. But if these vaccines are NOT effective, then vaccine passports are also useless...

This isn't about health, or the public good. This is a raw expression of power - your rights, life, and future be damned.

The Australian people truly have nothing to lose if they accept this. Their country began as a prison colony and is now ending up as one.

Randy

Tuesday 14th of September 2021

@Liberty, I couldn’t agree more.

“Countries earmarked to be part of the vaccine passport’s first destinations include Singapore, Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom, the US and neighbouring Pacific Islands. “ Well for example Bali, Indonesia is not on the list, as it may not be part of the wealthy nations worthy of the vaccine passport scheme. Too bad because some wealthy Australians do own properties in Bali. You snooze you lose.

Christian

Tuesday 14th of September 2021

@Liberty, Australia has shown its true color a decade before the plandemic. Julian Assange wasn’t allowed to return to Australia and a vaccine passport wouldn’t have helped.

Gemma

Tuesday 14th of September 2021

@Liberty, Couldn't agree more!

Devin

Tuesday 14th of September 2021

@Liberty, Yeah a country that locks down every time they have a case of community transmission is in for a surprise when untested vaccine passport holders start pouring in with breakthrough infections.