Vaccination against COVID-19 is expected to be mandatory for all visitors to Australia when international travel resumes, unless inbound passengers are willing to pay for 14 days of quarantine at a hotel or other government-approved facility.
The 'vaccination or quarantine' choice was flagged over the weekend by Stuart Robert, Minister for Government Services, who added that the government was working to make sure its own vaccination certificates would be "widely accepted" by other countries.
"It's highly likely that a vaccination certificate or quarantine will still be required for international visitors to Australia," Roberts said during a press conference on Queensland's Gold Coast.
While not being drawn on a restart of international travel for Australians, Robert said "any requirement for borders to open up will require vaccination and it will require the widespread use of assured certificates."
"And we'll continue to work with our international counterparts on exactly how we have a framework for vaccination certificates. There's a range of applications now that are being looked at including IBM, Clear, CommonPass, through the international travel authorities."
"We’ll continue to work with them to get a framework. But importantly, for Australians, they can have assurance that the certificate they will have will be robust, it will be anchored to them, so they will know it's their certificate, and it will be widely accepted."
Robert also confirmed that the Australian Immunisation Register would be used to issue digital vaccination certificates through smartphone apps, starting with the the government's own MyGov and Express Plus Medicare apps.
"The capability is live now," he said. "We are ready now for the vaccine rollout."
Speaking with 2GB's Ben Fordham this morning, Robert said the issue of airlines insisting on a compulsory 'no jab, no fly' policy for passengers – which Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has already flagged, citing widespread support by 87% of flyers surveyed – largely remained a matter for those airlines.
"Certainly international carriers are moving in this direction... this is where the airline travel associations have pulled together a concept called Common Pass. In terms of Australia, we're going to leave that to the Attorney-General who's in discussions as we speak."
"But it's happening internationally, so it's really important that we ensure that Australians have got proof of vaccination depending upon what the requirements are, especially overseas, where we have no jurisdiction of course."