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

Tourism

ATEC tickled pink with Labor Party tourism funding promise

As professional journalists, we at Travel Weekly remain completely unbiased when it comes to political matters. However, we’re just going to leave this here…

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

“The time is right”: industry legend, Barry Mayo, retires after 60+ years in travel

We think we speak for everyone when we say we can’t imagine an Australian travel industry without this industry stalwart!

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Tourism Western Australia partners with AAT Kings and showcases WA wildlife to Sydney

Rumours are that part of the collaboration deal is that the AAT execs all get free camel rides whenever they want, which we completely understand.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Humans of Antarctica

Travel Weekly joined Aurora Expeditions for an Antarctic circle expedition and met some amazing travellers who waited over two years for the adventure.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Flight Centre scores whopping government contract

Work for Flight Centre? Your tax dollars could now be contributing to your own salary, according to our vague understanding of the ATO.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Start-up airline, Bonza, to embrace Uber model

However, it’s not yet confirmed whether the pilots will be willing to give life advice to drunk passengers, like the rideshare app.

Share

CommentComments

Midweek Interview

Midweek Catch-up with UnCruise Adventures’ Kirsty Bozlee

We’re not sure how to UnCruise… and when we asked the company’s vice president of operations, she thought we were joking.

Share

CommentComments

Events

Travel DAZE to feature Aussie film premiere!

We’ve got another spate of fabulous speakers to announce for Travel DAZE 2022 as well as a surprise big reveal.

Share

CommentComments

Conferences

PHOTOS: ATE goes off with a bang

If you’re like one unlucky Travel Weekly reporter who has COVID, these pics will help you live vicariously through the conference-goers.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qantas’ new long-haul flights could cost over $18,000

For this price, we’d hope that the flights come with a complimentary mani-pedi and a pet bunny called “Fluffy” to keep us company during the flight.

Share

CommentComments

News

Returned special events to hit Seoul this month

The Travel Weekly criteria for what makes an event special is whether they have Tim Tams – although we can make exceptions for international events.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Intrepid debuts its first all-female leadership team

Rumour has it, Beyoncé’s Run the World (Girls) could be heard blasting from Intrepid’s Australia office moments after they announced this news.

Share

CommentComments