Australian prime minister suggests COVID passport for travel between states

Australian prime minister suggests COVID passport for travel between states
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Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has suggested that vaccine passports will likely be a requirement for travel within the country's states in an interview marking the second anniversary of his election.

Speaking to 9News, the prime minister responded to a question asking if “internal vaccine passports” would be necessary for travel between Australian states, Morrison stated that “all of those arrangements will have to be put in place,” adding that the concept was something his government would “have to work with the states and territories on.”

When questioned if this meant that premiers would have the power to stop those without vaccination from crossing their borders, Morrison told 9News that “it would have to be done in concert with state and territories to actually prevent one state to another consistent with their public health orders.” The public health orders, which are implemented at a state level, Morrison said, were the legal instrument to prevent Australians from moving between states.

Morrison agreed with the interviewer that restricting travel between states was a strong incentive to take the vaccine, particularly with the easing of restrictions on those who have been vaccinated in other countries.

In the case of private businesses, Morrison said that the law, as it stands, would not force customers to provide proof of vaccination.

The country's strategy for reopening, according to Morrison, would be taken “one step at a time.”

“The pandemic is worse this year than last year. It is ravaging the developing world and that means we're going to see an acceleration of variants and other strains which can cause great potential harm to Australia,” the prime minister said.

With more than a year having passed since the declaration of COVID-19 as a pandemic, Morrison wrapped up the interview by saying, “I've never been more proud of my country today than I have at any other time.”

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