COVID-19: Government to use QR code Vaccine certificate for international quarantine free travel
There has been a lot of whoo-ha about vaccine passports, especially from those usually associated with the right-wing. Even someone I follow on Instagram, railed against the idea of a gym in NYC mandating COVID-19 immunisation as a precursor to membership on the grounds that you shouldn’t have to undergo a ‘medical procedure’ to qualify.
I view this as a facile argument. Vaccination is about as similar to a ‘medical procedure’ as taking a panadol is.
Don’t you remember having to get a yellow fever vaccination, and having proof of it in your little yellow vaccination record to re-enter Australia after having visited countries in South America?
I would regard it more of a ‘badge of honour’ for your contribution to protecting other patrons, but anyway.
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Vaccine certificate now in Apple and Google Wallet
If you have been vaccinated, then you will have access to a COVID-19 Vaccination certificate via either your MyGov or Medicare account. You can now add the certificate to your Apple Wallet and soon, if not already, to your Google Wallet.
Government to link MyGov account and Vaccination Status
The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting that cabinet has endorsed a proposal for vaccine certificates for use with quarantine-free international travel. All that needs to be done, is to link MyGov accounts with digital vaccine certificates and border declarations. That’s putting aside the issues of security & privacy aside for one minute. South Australian Senator Rex Patrick has illustrated this by mocking up a fake one and thinks that adding a QR code will solve this.
All but the right-wing nut-jobs, (they know who they are George Christensen, Alex Antic, Gerard Rennick & Eric Abetz), in the coalition support the proposal, including the use of such certificates for domestic travel.
Digital Passenger Declaration
Everyone is piling on to the Vaccine Passport bandwagon, including IATA, Qantas, and our federal government.
Many countries including the USA and the UK and Canada are now requiring either proof of vaccination or a negative test result to enter without going into quarantine.
Our tourism minister Dan Tehan is gung-ho about using the vaccine passport for domestic travel, but industry members can’t quite see how it would work.
Qantas last week confirmed it would roll out a digital health pass for international flights, which will confirm passengers have clearance to fly. The airline said many countries now required either proof of vaccination or a negative test result in order to enter without undergoing quarantine. These include Britain, the United States and Canada.
Vaccine Passport Travel Bubbles
While we are waiting for a worldwide scheme our government officials are off negotiating some mutual recognition of the Australian version in what amounts to a vaccine certificate travel bubble. Vaccines covered will include those approved in Australia by the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration), but may or may not include the Chinese Sinovac and Sinopharm or the Russian Sputnik V.
Vaccine passports catch on internationally
Britain and France are making moves towards using vaccine passports as authorisation to attend large scale sporting and entertainment events, as well as using them as travel documents
You can expect the Australian government to adopt the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation) Visible Digital Seal when it rolls out the international vaccine certificates in October.
Lets just hope the government through services Australia coordinates with international airlines so that the ‘digital health pass’ scheme that Qantas has announced fits in with the overall scheme. Who wants to have to hang on to two or more different certificates for the same purpose. Mind you there might be some legislation required because DFAT ( Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade) currently does not have the power to collect health information:
The vaccine certificates, which are being developed by Services Australia and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, would also link with a new technology being developed by the Department of Home Affairs called the Digital Passenger Declaration, which will allow for the collection of health information. The government is still trying to work out how to link the three services.
While DFAT is the department that issues passports, it has no legal basis for collecting Australians’ vaccination status under the Australian Passports Act, which may mean the data has to be stored by other agencies such as Services Australia or Home Affairs.Sydney Morning Herald
Bring. It. On.