Australians will be able to apply for an international COVID-19 vaccination proof from Tuesday, which will take them another step closer to overseas travel.
Australians and Australian visa holders who have a valid passport and their COVID-19 vaccination recorded on the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) can obtain an International COVID-19 proof of vaccination.
According to a joint statement by federal government ministers released on Monday, the proof can be downloaded digitally or printed and is compatible with COVID-19 travel apps such as the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Travel Pass.
“The international proof of vaccination features a secure QR code to prove COVID-19 vaccination status to border authorities around the world and increases a person’s ability to travel safely and with confidence,” the statement said.
The ministers said the Visible Digital Seal technology within the international proof of vaccination is world-leading and authenticated in the same way as an Australian passport.
“The international certificate meets the new global standard specified by the International Civil Aviation Organization and conforms with World Health Organization guidance,” read the statement.
“Australia will share the Visible Digital Seal technology, building a curated library of technical documents to assist interested countries to develop their own vaccination certificates.”
According to a statement by International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the Visible Digital Seal (VDS) technology, originally used by countries for travel document verification, is now being expanded to verify proof of vaccination.
“This is an urgent priority for the international community, and a number of countries are now actively engaging with ICAO on suitable formats for their national health proofs,” Juan Carlos Salazar, the ICAO Secretary-General, said.
“We’re also cooperating closely with industry and others, now issuing similar 2D barcode systems, to ensure a seamless global system is the end result. ”
To date, 67.8 percent of Australians aged 16 and over are fully vaccinated, and 84.6 percent have had one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. New South Wales (NSW), the most populous Australian state, has hit the 80 percent vaccination target and announced to end all quarantine for international arrivals from November.
Quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand’s South Island is also set to resume from midnight on Tuesday. The change was made considering that the South Island had not recorded any COVID-19 case this year, despite the outbreak on the North Island, according to Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly.
“I understand there are some Australians that have been stuck in the South Island of New Zealand for some time, and we’d welcome them home,” Kelly said.
Australians can get a free international certificate by using their Medicare account through myGov, or the Medicare Express app.