Technology

Australia’s internationally recognised vaccine certificate to be released tomorrow

Australia’s COVID-19 vaccine certificate for international travel will be released on Tuesday, bringing the country one step closer to overseas jaunts.

The new certification uses QR code technology to prove a traveller’s vaccination status to border authorities around the world and is expected to boost consumer confidence in booking travel.

Australians will be able to link their passport details and Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) record via the Medicare Express App or myGov to get their hands on the document, which can be printed or digitally downloaded to a smartphone.

The federal government said the new certificate will be as secure as an Australian passport and authenticated in the same way.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced at the start of October that Australia’s international travel ban would be lifted from the beginning of November, allowing Australians to head overseas and return home without needing special government approval.

The rollout of the international vaccine certificate, which meets standards specified by both the International Civil Aviation Organization and with World Health Organization, is in line with the federal government’s four-step pathway out of COVID-19 restrictions.

Under the plan, outbound travel restrictions were expected to be lifted for fully vaccinated Australians once 80 per cent of the eligible population is vaccinated, with both inward and outward international travel was expected to be gradually reduced, and more relaxed quarantine requirements.

According to data from the department of health, we reached 67.8 per cent on Sunday; however, NSW reached the 80 per cent target over the weekend.

On Friday, the state’s new premier Dominic Perrottet announced NSW would scrap both home and hotel quarantine for fully vaccinated international travellers from 1 November.

The big policy change means that NSW is the only Aussie state to announce quarantine-free international travel, despite all of its interstate borders remaining closed.

However, Morrison said it was for the federal government to decide when the international border reopens.

“In the first instance, it will be for Australians, Australian residents and their families,” he told a press conference at Kirribilli.

“We’ll see how that goes and then we’ll move to the other priorities, which I’ve already set out as being skilled migration, as well as students to Australia.

“And then we’ll move on to the challenge of dealing with international visitors to Australia.”

According to ABC News, foreign nationals will be able to link Australia’s international vaccine certificate to their passport if they were vaccinated in Australia.

Australia’s current digital COVID-19 certificates, available through the Medicare app, have faced some backlash for its “high-school grade” security.

Last month, a Melbourne-based software developer claimed the certificate can be easily copied or altered by anyone who is fairly qualified in this field.

In August, Sydney-based software engineer Richard Nelson posted to Twitter about an “obvious” security flaw that made it possible to forge the vaccine certificates in just 10 minutes using free software including anti-forgery animation used in the background.


Featured image source: iStock/EvgeniyShkolenko


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