COVID-19: Pilot travel program for the vaccinated – reason to bare your shoulder and get jabbed
I don’t have to tell you that Australian borders have been closed since March 2020 to Australians wanting to travel overseas.
This happened a couple of days ago, but I resisted reporting it here in case we got some more detail, and anyway, I was in University Essay deadline hell!
Well, here is the second crack of light in those border walls. The first was the trans-Tasman Bubble, which I intend to take full advantage of next month. The second is an international travel pilot program for those of you who are/get vaccinated according to our Federal Government Health Minister Greg Hunt.
Its proposed that COVID-19 vaccinated travellers would be able to leave Australia, and return with conditions less strict than staying in quarantine for 2 weeks at their own expense.
What’s more – they are talking about this happening within six weeks! According to a story by Paul Karp in the Guardian on Tuesday 1 June 2021. There has been no public announcement, and we only heard the leak out of the Coalition party room as a result of a question by Liberal MP Jason Falinski.
Now, what is said in the party room is meant to stay in the party room – but this info has been leaked – possibly to force the minister’s hand – one way or the other. I’m looking at you, George Christensen.
So this is what we know
Well, a working party has been set up according to the Guardian story to work out how it could be done. Those vaccinated in Australia and overseas where records could be easily and reliably verified – like Canada, Singapore, United Kingdom and the USA would be eligible under the scheme being discussed.
The Guardian gives the following example:
‘…fully vaccinated passengers returning from less risky countries could be allowed to take a rapid antigen test, and then a full Covid test, and leave quarantine after negative results.’
The States won’t like this – probably
Although our international borders are a federal government concern, it is the state governments that have really been determining the restrictions on who comes in from overseas, and how many. They will resist giving up that control, so it will be interesting to see how our Prime Minister (Scott Morrison) negotiates that one.
The states so far have a strong record of getting their own way. Mind you, they seem to cave on their principles, once the commonwealth promises truckloads of money!