While countries around the world have managed to open up their borders enabling people to travel and attend events if they are able to show their vaccine passports, Australia has fallen way behind.
We are supposed to be the smart country, and yet we are dealing with COVID like a bunch of dummies compared to the rest of the world.
From July, multiple countries across the European Union opened up quarantine-free travel to people who are fully immunised against COVID-19. They prove this using a digital vaccine passport or vaccine certificate.
Many other countries also operate digital vaccine passports. While each country has a different approach, the one single thing they have in common is a central clever app in the form of a digital vaccine passport linked to key systems that enable people to show their vaccine status.
With the vaccine passport, people are able to enter bars and restaurants, attend fitness centres and travel across borders without quarantining.
At present, inoculated Australians have a digital certificate on their phones but it has no rights attached to it.
Clearly, we urgently need to commit to a timeline in this country to get a vaccine passport in place before Christmas.
We are going to be living with this virus for years to come. It is not going away. We have a few years ahead of us yet and the Australian Government needs to get moving if we are going to enjoy some type of normality again.
We can’t keep living with open and close borders and cities – this is killing businesses and people. We need to deliver a vaccine passport as a matter of urgency and get it rolled out.
Every day I am hearing of businesses that are going to wall because they just can not keep paying bills for rent and other fixed costs without revenue coming in. Small and medium size businesses are the engine room of the economy and yet they are being brought to their knees through inaction, bad policy and a lack of foresight.
The rest of the world is getting back to some type of new normal – and we need to be as well. Just because we are surrounded by water doesn’t mean we should be allowing ourselves to be physically separated from the world.
We urgently need a solution. Other countries have one, we need one now, too.
If the entire country is being encouraged to get vaccinated, let’s start giving people who have fully vaccinated some rights and freedoms to move around and return to some sense of normalcy. If we can’t do this, then there is little incentive for people to get vaccinated.