Passports loom in states' way out
Australia’s major population centres have given hints of what the future “vaccine economy” will look like.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews says proof of double vaccination will soon be the price of entry.
“There is going to be a vaccinated economy, and you get to participate in that if you are vaccinated,” Mr Andrews said over the weekend.
“We're going to move to a situation where, to protect the health system, we are going to lock out people who are not vaccinated and can be.”
The Victorian Government is developing an industry pilot program to test vaccine standards ahead of more events, facilities and services opening to people who have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.
“The economy, as best it can, will operate as close to normal as possible to people who have had two doses,” Mr Andrews said.
COuntries around the world are introducing vaccine passports to facilitate free travel and increased domestic freedom for citizens.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has backed the idea too, saying local businesses have the right to refuse service to unvaccinated patrons.
Health authorities in New South Wales have already eased restrictions for fully vaccinated residents in certain local government areas, while many private businesses say vaccine requirements are the way forward.
There is mounting concern that the passport system will harden opposition among people currently resistant to COVID-19 vaccination.
A new set of ‘National COVID-19 Privacy Principles’ have been agreed by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner and state and territory privacy commissioners.
“As the next of wave of solutions are developed, we need to keep privacy front and centre,” OAIC and Privacy Commissioner Angelene Falk says.
“We want to maintain the community’s trust in the use of their personal information, so we need to ensure that any new proposals and solutions are built around fundamental privacy principles.”