Australia starts vaccine passport program for international travel

Rudy Balasko /

After 18 months of having its borders closed, Australia is ready to explore and welcome the world again. The Federal Government of Australia announced on September 13, 2021, that in cooperation with selected countries, it would begin a trial of vaccine passports in preparation for international travel resuming by the end of 2021. 

The country’s tourism minister, Dan Tehan, advised that the vaccine passport system will allow Australians to use MyGov to upload their proof of vaccination to a QR code that is linked to their passport.

So, what it will mean is, if you’ve been vaccinated, you’ll be able to upload that information from your MyGov account to a QR code which will be linked to your passport. So, where you’re required to prove that you are vaccinated when you’re travelling overseas to get entry into countries, that QR code will be able to demonstrate that you are vaccinated,” Tehan says in an interview on the Australian Trade, Tourism and Investment website. 

“So when that international border opens we want to make sure we’re ready for people to be able to travel again and, you know, it’s incredibly important that we’re doing that preparatory work,” Tehan said. 

The Australian government will be trialing the vaccine passports with a number of countries. Among these countries are Singapore, Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as Australia’s neighboring Pacific Island destinations.

And as for inbound travelers who are vaccinated overseas, Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has approved the following COVID-19 vaccines: Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, and Janssen Cilag. 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that once Australia’s fully-vaccinated adult population reaches 80%, people will again be able to travel overseas.  As of September 12, 2021, 42.3% of Australia’s adult population has been fully vaccinated. 

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