Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison has tonight detailed the steps for Australia to live with Covid-19. With large parts of Sydney currently in lockdown and recent lockdowns in Victoria and South Australia, many Australians are looking for a plan from the Government on how we can live with the virus without the lockdowns.
Under a new plan announced tonight by the Prime Minister, agreed to by the national cabinet, which contains the Premiers and Chief Ministers of each State and Territory.
The new plan includes 3 phases:
- Phase A – where we are now
- Phase B – 70% vaccination rate (two injections)
- Phase C – 80% vaccination rate (two injections)
During his press conference tonight, the Prime Minister announced that those who are fully vaccinated will benefit from reduced restrictions, as compared to those who are partially or not vaccinated. This immediately creates the need for proof of your current vaccination level.
As we’ve seen around the world, a digital Vaccination Passport that you carry with you on your smartphone is the obvious, most convenient choice. The PM went on to say that they are working to enable this to be integrated in Google Pay/Wallet and Apple Wallet.
For those of us who tap and pay or tap to use loyalty cards, you’ll be familiar with just how easy and straightforward this is, while others new to the experience will obviously need some help.
It would be great if venues added NFC readers to check for the Vaccine passport in a tap and verify fashion, but more likely you’ll need to pin Apple Pay, Google Pay to your home screen, launch the app, pull up essentially your Medicare or MyHealth card and show it to where required.
Some of us have the MyGov app on our phones, but that typically uses Multi-Factor Authentication, so you can appreciate that wouldn’t be practical in environments where dozens or hundreds of people need to get checked rapidly.
While some will clearly not love the thought of this, it does seem like a great approach to provide proof of your vaccination status to authorities when requested or to gain entry on flights, into sporting and entertainment venues etc.. It is unclear yet if workplaces will also be able to request that you prove your vaccination status, but for the benefit and comfort of your colleagues, this seems like a logical extension.
Over the coming months, Australia will accelerate their vaccine program and the target of reaching 70% and then 80% fully vaccination is likely to take months, perhaps even into early 2022. The detail is important on this. Not only are these thresholds required to be met at the state level, but also nationally. This means if anyone state does not reach the target, it’ll pull down the national average and may hold us back.
Once we reach Phase B (70%), Australia will be less likely to lockdown, although still possible. International travellers into Australia will begin to increase, but they will need to also prove they are vaccinated with a recognised vaccine.
Once we reach Phase C (80%), Australia will see no widespread lockdowns as we see today, of entire states, cities and towns, and by much more likely to be just the impacted LGA or postcode. There will also be the freedom to travel domestically if you are vaccinated and even leave Australia if you’re vaccinated. Travel bubbles with similarly vaccinated countries like Singapore etc will be possible.
Basically the takeaway from this is that you need to get vaccinated now – for you, your family and your country.