An international travel trial that will allow vaccinated Australians to go overseas with less strict quarantine requirements could start in six weeks.
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt revealed the proposal to the Coalition party room.
The news comes as pressure looms on the federal government to incentivise Australians to get the jab.
Modelling of the international travel trial began on Monday. It could be in full swing in six to eight weeks time according to the health minister.
International travel trial ‘green zone’ countries
Exemptions would apply to people fully vaccinated in Australia. Australia would also recognise vaccinations from other countries where vaccination status could be reliably verified. This would include the UK, US, Canada and Singapore.
Other proposals raised included allowing vaccinated travellers to leave quarantine once they returned a negative Covid-19 test result instead of isolating for the full 14 days.
Currently, Australians are able to travel to New Zealand without quarantine. It is the only country that is a “green zone” for Australians.
Under the proposed international travel trial, the government will consider introducing other gradings such as amber. This will depend on the risk of bringing Covid-19 back to Australia.
Different quarantine rules will apply depending on the risk. For example vaccinated travellers returning from low-risk countries could take be allowed to take a rapid antigen test, then a Covid test and be able to leave after negative results.
Australians have been subject to strict border closures since March 2020.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has suggested that vaccination passports are the roadmap to freedom for vaccinated Australians.
“If they’re all vaccinated and then obviously the risks are a lot less and that’s why I’d continue to encourage people to move on making their booking to get the vaccinations,’’ the Prime Minister said.