International vaccine certificates will be available from the federal government from Tuesday, October 19 as Australia prepares to rejoin the world after 18-long months in isolation.
Aussies who are fully vaccinated will need the passports if they want to fly and, as the country edges closer to 70% full vaccination, that looks like a reality that could be coming sooner rather than later.
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet also announced that his state would welcome international travellers in November with the scrapping of quarantine and travel caps, something that put the federal government in a bit of an awkward situation.
Morrison was forced to step in and say that international tourists would be at the back of the queue as thousands of Aussies are still unable to return home. The PM said that the initial focus would be on them before tourists.
Regardless, travellers leaving the country will need to get a vaccine passport if they are to take advantage of the opening borders, whenever that might be. Here’s how they’ll work and how to get one.
Australia’s Vaccine Passports
Now we know that the passports will feature a unique QR code that is linked to an individual’s passport and medical history.
Essentially it will be a piece of paper or a digital document that you’ll have to carry with you as you travel.
The main idea is that the document and the QR code will offer Australians the ability to prove their vaccination status anywhere in the world.
“If you travel overseas, and that overseas country requires proof of your vaccination status, you will have a copy of it,” Employment Minister Stuart Robert said.
“You may not have to use it — there may be many countries you’ll visit that have no requirement to demonstrate you’ve been vaccinated.
The federal government says that the certificates are just as secure as a traditional passport, with higher levels of encryption than are currently used in domestic travel.
How to Get a Vaccine Passport
It’s pretty simple. Anyone who has already got their vaccination certificate from Medicare should be familiar with the process.
All you’ll need to do is head to the MyGov site and through to your linked Medicare account to supply information about your vaccine using the vaccination certificate along with your passport information.
The site will create a document that is unique to you, linking your passport with your vaccination record.
This document can then be printed off or downloaded. We’d suggest making a few copies and keeping them in the cloud or somewhere easily accessible from any device in case you need it.
Where You Can Use It
Right now, Australia is still locked down, but from November, flights will start opening up, depending on the state you’re in.
NSW is the most brazen of the lot, aiming to have international departures in a few weeks. WA is still suggesting it will keep the state borders closed for several months yet.
The list of countries you can travel to is growing by the day but most, if not all, have some level of restrictions in place for travellers. You may be required to provide a vaccine passport and a negative COVID test pre-departure or upon arrival so make sure you check the requirements before booking.
Quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand’s South Island is set to resume from Wednesday, October 20 and Australia is also in talks to open a quarantine-free “green lane” with Singapore.