COVID-19 vaccines are rolling out across Australia right now and it won’t be long until proof of vaccination is required to access certain aspects of life.
Digital vaccination certificates are already attainable for fully vaccinated Australians — you can even add them to your phone — but in what instances will we need to show them?
Right now, the use of COVID-19 vaccination certifications is still being implemented but here are some of the places that will likely adopt them in the future.
The most obvious time you’re going to need proof of a COVID-19 vaccination in Australia is for overseas travel.
Qantas in particular has been vocal about its intentions to implement a vaccine passport system. This would require travellers to provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccine to travel on a Qantas flight.
Proof of vaccination when entering international countries is nothing new, but plenty of nations have made it clear that COVID-19 immunisation will be a condition of entry.
This extends to Australia as well.
Currently, anyone entering Australia from overseas needs to enter two weeks of mandatory hotel quarantine. However, the government has flagged the possibility that those who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 may be able to complete their quarantine at home in the future.
Of course, travelling internationally all hinges on Australia’s border opening again.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison recently unveiled the federal government’s roadmap out of COVID-19 and it requires 80% of the population to be vaccinated before borders will even reopen.
There has been no talk of requiring proof of vaccination on domestic travel, but Scott Morrison has backed the idea to further incentivise Australians.
It’s worth noting that the AstraZeneca vaccine has also been renamed Vaxzevria to bring Australia in line with the vaccine used in other countries. This should make international travel more accessible for those vaccinated with AZ.
Long story short, get vaccinated if you ever want to travel again.
Freedom from lockdown restrictions
The Australian government’s new vaccine targets also propose a way out of lockdown.
The government’s modelling predicts that when 70% of the adult population is vaccinated we can start to lift lockdown restrictions and eventually avoid ever being locked down again.
NSW Premier Glady Berejiklian has said that the way out of Sydney’s current lockdown is for a significant rise in vaccination rates. She also hasn’t ruled out lockdown privileges for those who are immunised but will only consider it once everyone has been given access to the vaccine.
Just today, the Premier announced that fully vaccinated individuals will be given extra freedoms during the lockdown, including one extra hour of outdoor recreation time. Those outside LGAs of concern can even gather outdoors in groups of up to five from September 13.
It’s likely even more restrictions will be eased for the vaxxed population in the coming weeks.
It’s unclear right now how these freedoms will be policed but it’s likely individuals will need to show their proof of vaccination to authorities if asked.
Long story short, get vaccinated if you don’t want to be in lockdown forever.
Entering venues and attending events
Australia is getting close to the vaccination numbers where it can look to the privileges other countries are offering their vaccinated citizens.
The US recently relaxed mask mandates for those who are vaccinated — although though that advice has since changed thanks to the Delta variant. Still, we could be looking at a future where some restrictions don’t apply to those who are fully vaxxed.
Also in the US, New York City now requires individuals to show proof of vaccination to enter certain venues like restaurants, bars and gyms.
France has implemented a similar ‘health pass’ system that allows vaccinated citizens to enter venues like museums and cinemas where others cannot.
Vaccine incentives like this have been thrown around in Australia before, but they’re not likely to be implemented until more of the population has access to COVID vaccines.
Long story short, get vaccinated if you want to enjoy social activities again.
Going to work
Conversations around employees requiring vaccinations to work have been raised in Australia and some companies have already come out to say they will be mandating the jab.
SPC was the first company in Australia to say it will require all workers be fully vaccinated against COVID. All staff must be jabbed by November to access any company location.
Qantas was another to say it is requiring all its employees to be fully vaccinated by the end of March 2022 with frontline staff requiring the jab by November.
It’s been the same in other countries. Companies like Google and Facebook in the US are requiring their employees to get the jab before returning to work in the office.
It’s been a struggle to even give all priority workers in Australia the jab so far but don’t rule out businesses mandating the vaccine in the future. If and when they do you’ll want to keep that vaccine certificate handy.
Long story short, get vaccinated if you want to work again.
Attending school and university
It’s too early to say whether schools will mandate vaccines, particularly as they haven’t been approved for anyone below 16 just yet, but university is a different story.
Charles Sturt University has been one of the first to mandate vaccinations for all health students. This is largely to facilitate their placements in hospitals and other potentially high-risk environments.
It’s highly likely other universities will follow suit.
Long story short, get vaccinated if you want to study.
Now that vaccinations are open for large parts of the population businesses are starting to implement incentives for fully vaccinated customers.
Qantas is running a ‘Fly Away’ promotion that allows any Qantas Frequent Flyers to claim a series of different rewards by proving their vaccination status. A lottery prize of a year’s worth of flights, fuel and accommodation is also on offer for vaxxed participants.
This isn’t the only lottery idea that’s been thrown around with some experts calling for an $80 million lottery to incentivise the jab.
It’s early days but it’s likely these won’t be the only promotions running for vaccinated folks.
For example, the Lord Gladstone Hotel in Sydney is offering vaccinated patrons a free beer when they show their vaccination status, and it’s likely this won’t be the only business to promise rewards for the jab.
Long story short, get vaccinated if you want some free shit.
Vaccine certificates may not have a lot of leeway in Australia right now, but if their use in other countries is anything to go by they’ll soon be our ticket everywhere.
Keep an eye on this post as we’ll be updating it as proof of vaccination requirements change in Australia.
This article has been updated with additional information.