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Australia plans vaccine passport for international travel

The Australian government has started to develop a vaccine passport for international travel, say reports.

It has awarded a contract to international IT company Accenture for new digital passenger declarations (DPD), reported The Guardian.

“The declarations will replace incoming passenger cards and Covid-19 travel declarations, capturing information including vaccination status to facilitate international travel at scale into Australia,” said the newspaper.

It reported the home affairs minister, Karen Andrews, said the declaration “will support the safe reopening of Australia’s international borders, by providing digitally verified Covid-19 vaccination details”.

Meanwhile, airline Qantas has said direct flights between the UK and Australia will be restored only if quarantine rules are eased by the Australian government.

The Australian carrier will start flying between Heathrow and Sydney, Perth and Melbourne from December 19.

The Independent said Stephanie Tully, the airline’s chief customer officer, warned that if a two-week hotel quarantine for vaccinated arrivals to Australia was still required, “we will not get the demand we need to operate”. She said that testing should be sufficient.

“The most popular destination we’re seeing for bookings is London, from both Sydney and Melbourne,” she said.

Picture of Sydney by Taras Vyshnya/Shutterstock

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