'Vaccine passports' will be available this week. Here's what you need to know
Australians are a step closer to resuming travelling overseas as the Federal Government starts to roll out technology that proves your COVID-19 vaccine status around the world.
Australians are a step closer to travelling overseas as the Federal Government starts to roll out technology that proves your COVID-19 vaccine status around the world.
From tomorrow, any Aussie who is fully vaccinated can access the digital certificate – sometimes referred to as a "vaccine passport" - allowing them to travel in and out of the country.
The new technology is compatible with COVID-19 travel apps and based on a person's vaccination records.
How will the vaccine passport work?
The new certificate contains a secure QR code and can be downloaded from the MyGov website to a smartphone or printed off.
To be eligible. you need to have proof of COVID-19 double vaccination and a valid passport.
The certificate will be scanned by border officials on arrival into a country if requested.
Foreign Minister Marise Payne said the anti-forgery visible digital seal technology within the certificate was among the world's most advanced.
"Australia will share the visible digital seal technology, building a curated library of technical documents to assist interested countries develop their own vaccination certificates," Senator Payne said in a joint statement.
"The launch of the international proof of vaccination is a key step towards safely reopening international borders and supporting Australia's COVID-19 economic recovery."
The new international certificate meets the new global standard specified by the International Civil Aviation Organisation and conforms with World Health Organisation guidance.
When can Australians travel overseas again?
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced Australia's international border restrictions would start to ease from the beginning of November for fully vaccinated Australians.
It is expected at this point the country will hit a double vaccination rate of 80 percent.
Last week, NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet announced all quarantine will be scrapped for fully vaccinated international arrivals entering New South Wales from November 1.
The surprise move is a radical change to Australia's management of COVID-19 and leaves NSW on its own as it prepares to welcome overseas visitors.
The decision eliminates the need for travellers to quarantine in a hotel, which has caused tens of thousands of Aussies to become stranded overseas because of strict flight caps.
There are 45,000 registered with DFAT as wanting to get back, with mandatory hotel quarantine starting at $3000.
Do I have to be fully vaccinated to travel overseas?
Come November, only fully vaccinated Australians will be able to travel overseas without getting an exemption.
Children under 12 and those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons will also be able to travel overseas without an exemption, according to the Department of Home Affairs.
While many countries are likely to require travellers show proof of vaccination status, some may not.
Employment Minister Stuart Robert said the vaccine passport would help Australians have ready access to the documentation should they need it.
"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.
"But the last thing the government wants for Australians when they travel overseas is to be stuck overseas because they can't prove they've been vaccinated."