Australia in talks with airlines on vax passports

CANBERRA, May 20: The Australian government has opened talks with international airlines on digital vaccine passports for people who have been inoculated against Covid-19.

The Australian Border Force (ABF) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which represents about 290 airlines, have been in discussions about vaccinated Australians using the IATA Travel Pass, Xinhua news agency quoted the Guardian Australia report as saying.

It comes a day after Prime Minister Scott Morrison flagged the idea of a digital vaccination passport.

Speaking to a radio station on Thursday, he said holders of vaccination passports could be allowed to be exempt from domestic travel restrictions.

“That is likely to see more strains, more variants, come through, so we have to be exceptionally cautious,” Morrison told radio station 3AW.

“That’s why the borders remain closed, and that’s why we look to further liberalize things that are safe.”

Vinoop Goel, IATA’s Asia-Pacific director for airports, told the Guardian that its digital pass was secure and simple.

“Our goal is try and make sure that borders reopen, and that too without quarantine because you know if you’re looking at a 14-day or 21-day quarantine, it does not work for business travel, neither does it work for leisure travel,” he said.

(IANS)