Tourism

“There’s a fair bit of work to still go there”: ScoMo plays down hype around ‘vaccine passports’

Ali Coulton

Ali Coulton

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says international travel is “very possible” once the vaccine is rolled out across Australia, but there is “a fair bit of work to still go there”.

Speaking to the press at Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred Hospital last week, Australia’s PM said we must “wait for the evidence” before international borders are able to open up again.

“It’s not just Australia that’s getting vaccinated here. It’s the rest of the world,” he said.

“There are big jobs to be done there. But look, I think it is a reasonable expectation that as time goes on, as the vaccination rolls out across the world and here in Australia, you should rightly expect that things will change in how we manage the virus.”

Morrison said the government was still working with international partners, the International Civil Aviation Organization and others on the development of a ‘vaccine passport’.

“What we want is a proper accreditation process which can load up into that system,” he said.

“Now, we obviously have very good systems here and we’ve worked hard on them. We know what our systems can do and we can be confident about those.

“It’s about getting to a level of confidence across many jurisdictions that would enable that outcome.

“So, once I think we get a greater understanding of everybody’s systems, that can give the airlines in particular, because they are the gatekeepers here largely on this, they can have the confidence about what’s being loaded up, who’s had a vaccine, what vaccine have they had, who approved that, what’s the role of the WHO (World Health Organization).

“So, there’s a fair bit of work to still go there.”

Several airlines including Qantas, Air New Zealand and Copa Airlines have signed up to trial the International Air Transport Association (IATA) digital travel pass.

The pass is a mobile app designed to help passengers manage their travel in line with government requirements for COVID-19 testing or vaccination information.

Travel and tourism analyst at GlobalData Ralph Hollister said that while IATA’s Travel Pass is not the “golden ticket to an instant recovery”, it will no doubt help.

“Due to this unprecedented drop in demand, which has now continued into the start of 2021, ongoing testing, tracing and vaccinations rollouts will need to be continued alongside the implementation of the digital COVID Travel Pass in order to ensure a strong and sustained recovery,” he said.

Hollister said international travel was a possibility this summer, with the success of the vaccine rollout potentially allowing for short-haul travel to resume between many economically developed nations.

“However, low traveller confidence may still stop many from travelling. [A] GlobalData survey found that 52 per cent of global respondents are either ‘quite’ or ‘extremely’ concerned regarding restrictions on international travel,” he said.

“IATA’s Travel Pass should, therefore, help to ease these ongoing apprehensions. As the app confirms if a passenger has had the appropriate COVID-19 tests or vaccines required to enter a country, this will assure travellers that there will be no sudden surprises when they enter the destination, such as restrictions on movement.”

Adrian Leach, CEO of travel insurance company World Travel Protection, believes the government should introduce a vaccine passport-like scheme sooner rather than later, even if just on a domestic scale.

“It could be a substantial period of time until we reach herd immunity in the community, and even longer until travel corridors begin to appear,” Leach said.

“Until then, it’s highly likely we will continue to experience fluctuating border restrictions and snap lockdowns, as we’ve seen in Victoria. This creates a lot of uncertainty for business travellers as well as the domestic tourism industry.

“For these employees and their employers to have stability, we need some form of documentation that will help airlines and authorities process these individuals quickly and securely.

“A domestic COVID-19 vaccination passport could bring more confidence to both domestic business and leisure travellers. It could also provide peace of mind to all travellers that they are travelling as part of a reliably safe cohort of other immunised travellers.”


Featured image source: Facebook/Scott Morrison


SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Hotels

Man charged for $5000 quarantine hotel rampage in Tassie

Hotel quarantine can be tough, but this guy took cabin fever to the extreme in a truly unforgettable holiday.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

Former ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie appointed as chair of TRAVLR

Michelle Guthrie will take the reigns as the new chair of the board at TRAVLR, alongside advisor and investor, Matt Berriman as the role of non-executive director.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Royal Caribbean reveal four cruise ships headed to Alaska in mid-2023

Get your diary out for this huge series of cruises coming mid-2023.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Queensland to reopen to all of Australia from Monday

Palaszczuk finally announces the date Queensland borders will reopen for fully vaccinated travellers from interstate hotspots, and what changes they can expect.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Fiji Airways debuts new in-flight experiences for holiday-seeking Aussies

Passengers travelling with the tropical paradise’s national carrier can (literally) rest assured they’re being taken care of with its new economy sleeper option.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Historic Melbourne hotel gets multi-million dollar makeover

Rendezvous Hotel Melbourne has had a modern makeover that pays homage to its turn-of-the-century origins.  

Share

CommentComments

News

“We will not be pursuing ‘Omicron zero'”: NSW and Victoria vow to keep borders open

Victorian Premier Dan Andrews said he and his NSW counterpart Dominic Perrotett have been texting about this fandangled ‘Omicron zero’ situation, with both giving the strategy a thumbs down emoji.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Sri Lanka Tourism invites investors to cash in with huge incentives

The island nation’s government has made it easier to invest in tourism projects, and they reckon there are big bucks to be made. That is, if you have a spare $71K laying around.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

The best bits of Wendy Wu’s Worldwide Sale

The sale includes coveted cherry blossom and autumn leaves departures on Japan trips so tell your clients to start saving up their yen now.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Say namaste: Qantas’ first India flights in almost a decade take to the skies

Meanwhile, the Flying Kangaroo’s Points Auction continues apace with a private jet experience set to go under the hammer.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Bannisters opens new Bawley Point retreat, The Jackson Ranch

Got a client who has always wanted to say “Meanwhile, back at the ranch…” in a literal sense? Book them a stay in this hidden gem.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

AFTA updates campaign encouraging members to contact local MPs

Want to give your local MP a piece of your mind but don’t want to get kicked out of their office for shouting profanities? Click here.

Share

CommentComments