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Australia’s vaccine passport gets global trial

Seal Media Group, Australia

According to the Morrison government’s pandemic exit plan, Australia needs to hit the 80 per cent double vaccination threshold before vaccinated people can travel, visitors from overseas are allowed in, and quarantine at home can be acceptable.Australia is projected to reach the 80 per cent threshold in late November.The government had been working to develop a QR code with the International Civil Aviation Organisation so the vaccine certificates would be internationally recognised.Mr Tehan said the trials of vaccine passport technology will indicate if the system works for vaccinated Australians overseas, especially with travel bubble partners.“That will go out to all our overseas posts but, you know, obviously, the focus is making sure that it will work with the Pacific Islands, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, the UK, the US,” Mr Tehan told Sky News. “That QR code that will be linked to your passport which proves your vaccination certification, we’re beginning to trial that internationally … this week.“It’s going to be very difficult to travel without (vaccines), given that the airlines – most of the ­airlines – are saying that you’ll need proof of vaccination. Most countries are saying that there will be some sort of proof of vaccination certification. Now, over time, that might change, but we want to make sure that we’re ready to be able to do it.”SA TRIALS AT-HOME QUARANTINE Australian Defence Force personnel will be the first to test home quarantine in South Australia, after Premier Steven Marshall declared the state’s pilot program using facial recognition and geolocating a success.ADF personnel will be the first to test home quarantine but it is expected to be broadened in coming months.People quarantining at home in the SA trials must download an app that confirms they are at their residential address through multiple check-ins, facial recognition, and geolocation. The home quarantine period for is 14 days.Mr Marshall said he would open the borders to all once the nation had reached 80 per cent vaccinations.South Australia’s pilot program tracked nearly 50 people who entered the state from Sydney last month. A comparable app exists for interstate arrivals in Western Australia and has been used for some months.The NSW government is also looking into South Australia’s home quarantine app to roll out when it begins to come out of lockdown next month.It could also be adopted federally.Scott Morrison said on Sunday that home quarantine was key to reopening the international borders and removing arrival caps. “The technology is there to do it. It’s just important that the states get in a position to scale that up, so vaccinated Australians, once we hit 80 per cent, can take off again,” he said in Sydney.Mr Morrison also announced an additional 400,000 vaccines would be directed to hot spots in Melbourne, after the government secured one million Moderna doses from the EU.

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