Interview with Claire Murphy, ‘The Quicky’ Mamamia Podcast

  • Transcript
Subjects: Vaccination Passports
17 September 2021

Claire Murphy: New South Wales has been told that once they reach 80% double dose target international travel is back on the cards. Their first dose target was reached on Wednesday, which means that milestone is only a few weeks away. So how far along are we in creating our vaccine passport for international travel. Dan Tehan is the Federal Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment. Dan, QANTAS has already announced that their flights to London, LA, Vancouver and Singapore are ready for take-off from Sydney and Melbourne on October 18. Is the QR code vaccine passport system ready to go to?

Dan Tehan: We were very confident that we'll have it ready to go by October, we've begun trialling. It was sent out to all our overseas embassies last week, and the feedback we're getting is that the interoperability of the system is working just as we thought it would. So, all the planning is being done, and if we hit that 80% vaccination rate nationally, then we should be ready to go and begin that outbound travel again, which I'm sure everyone's looking forward to.

Claire Murphy: Dan, one of the questions that has come across my desk quite a few times when it comes to vaccine passports is how do we handle this with people with multiple citizenships? So, some people travel partway on, sometimes on their Australian passports, part ways on another, especially if they've got European passports, how is that going to work?

Dan Tehan: Well, the system that we've designed is obviously linked to your Australian passport and for Australian citizens. So, for those who might use another passport for part of their travel, they will either have to use the vaccination certification of the country of that passport, or I'm sure that the system will also recognise the vaccination certification linked to the Australian passport, so the QR code. So I don't think that should be an issue, but it's one of those complications and, obviously, we're working through with other countries, and it's why we adopted a standard, which is the International Civil Aviation Organisation standard, for what we've done, because that is what other countries; that's the model that they're following as well. So, hopefully, that should be able to work. No matter what passport is being used, they should be able to use the digital certification, that they have from being vaccinated in Australia.

Claire Murphy: What do you say to those people, Dan, who say that vaccine passports are an infringement of my human rights, that I should be able to move about within the country, but also outside of the country, whether I'm vaccinated or not.

Dan Tehan: So, one of the things that the government has to plan for and has been planning for is the requirements that are put in place by other countries with regards to whether you need to be certified as having been vaccinated or not. What we want to make sure is that when it comes to Australians travelling overseas and if another country mandates that there is a need for proof of vaccination that we have the ability through this technology for you to be able to demonstrate that.

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