Anyone looking to get into Australia will either have to be vaccinated or have to quarantine for 14 days, according to suggestions made by a government minister at a Queensland press conference.
The vaccine requirement was mentioned by Minister for Government Services Stuart Robert, who said that everyone entering Australia – including returning Aussies – will either have to show proof of vaccine or quarantine for 14 days, as is currently required.
“It’s highly likely that a vaccination certificate or quarantine will still be required for international visitors to Australia,” Roberts said, while returning Aussies will be issued digital vaccination certificates through the government’s own MyGov and Express Plus Medicare apps.
In November 2020, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce had suggested that proof of vaccine would be required for all passengers flying Qantas; he also hinted that Australia wouldn’t open up to international visitors until July 2021. So far, the Australian government hasn’t confirmed when international visitors would be allowed back in, but it hasn’t contradicted Mr Joyce’s claims either; now that it seems certain that the country will make a vaccine an entry requirement, observers have suggested that July looks like the most likely time for the reopening of borders.
It’s unclear whether Australia or other countries will send all families with children into mandatory quarantine or will exempt young children from the requirement as long as the adults have taken their shots.
Meanwhile, Australia kicked off its vaccination campaign today, February 23: Phase 1A will see frontline health workers, aged care and disability staff and residents and quarantine and border workers vaccinated; Phase 1B will push 14.8 million vaccines to the over-70s, other health workers, Indigenous Australians over 55 and high-risk workers like the police. The government plans to vaccinate its entire population of 25 million by October 2021.