According to Dan Tehan, the trade minister, the Morrison government will have a process in place within weeks to assist the reopening of international travel as immunization rates go up. Tehan told reporters that resuming international travel would necessitate “a system that can facilitate validation of vaccination – a vaccination certification scheme,” as senior federal ministers met on Wednesday to continue working on vaccine passports.
“We’re in the process of planning that so that in the coming weeks we will have a system up and running so that when we hit that 70% or 80% vaccination mark, Australians will be able to travel overseas again and also return home in greater numbers,” Tehan told reporters in Canberra.”
“We’ll also be able to begin welcoming international students, those wishing to work here, and, eventually, tourists.” According to Scott Morrison’s four-phase plan for restarting Australia, vaccinated Australians will be able to travel abroad more freely once at least 80 percent of the over-16 population has been fully vaccinated.
Governments would disband caps on vaccinated Australians coming back from foreign countries, as well as all constraints on outbound travel for vaccinated Australians, under the plan’s “Phase C.” The stimuli are based on vaccination coverage rather than a specific date, though Gladys Berejiklian, the Premier of New South Wales, has indicated that international travel will likely resume in time for Christmas. Tehan said the government was working with the International Civil Aviation Organization to develop a QR code that would allow vaccine certificates to be recognized internationally.
Similarly, he said, QR codes would be integrated with state check-in apps to allow Australians to show their vaccination status when attending sporting and theatrical events. “This is all part of our strategy to open the economy and the country in a secure manner.” Berejiklian has stated several times in recent weeks that once the agreed-upon vaccination thresholds are met, the state will facilitate more normalized international travel. Morrison said last week that because NSW was ahead of other jurisdictions in terms of vaccination rates, international travel could resume in NSW ahead of other states.
The federal government has been lobbying hard in recent weeks for all states and territories to push ahead to the next stages of the opening-up plan once the following two thresholds are met: Over-16s were immunized against Covid-19 in 70% and 80% of cases, respectively.
However, many investigators and state and territory representatives have highlighted out that the plan is more complicated than it has been presented by some federal officials. The July plan, which was approved by the national cabinet, was always “subject to change if required.”