The long-awaited vaccine passport for international travel is due to be rolled out by the Australian government from Tuesday this week, as the country prepares to reopen its international borders for the first time since March 2020.

It comes as NSW officially hit its 80 per cent vaccination target in its adult population, and follows the NSW Premier’s announcement that the state will restart quarantine-free overseas travel for fully-vaccinated citizens and residents from 1 November.

Dubbed the International COVID-19 Vaccine Certificate, the vaccine passport for overseas travel will work in a similar fashion to existing digital COVID-19 vaccine certificates.

The vaccine passport will contain a QR code that can be readily scanned for verification by border officials and will be available for download via the MyGov website from Tuesday morning.

Further, the digital document is linked to a person’s physical passport, with travellers required to provide their passport information when they request the vaccine passport from Medicare.

Once downloaded, the document can either be printed and used physically, or stored digitally on a smartphone.

The federal government has promised that the certificates are as secure as a traditional passport and contain a higher level of encryption than the domestic proof-of-vaccination certificate.

Employment Minister Stuart Robert, who oversaw the creation and rollout of the international travel vaccine passport, said he expects Australians to welcome the new process.

“Australians understand when you travel overseas, countries require documentation to prove who you are,” he said.

“In the same way, for example, that for the last 20 years, Australians, when they travelled to Africa, they have had to carry a little international vaccination book that showed the Yellow Fever vaccination.

“This is exactly the same.”

Minister Robert stated that while not all countries require proof of vaccination in order to enter, Australia does, so travellers will need to have the vaccine passport organised ahead of any planned overseas trips.

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