Australians who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 might be able to leave the country and return with less strict quarantine plans in a new trial which could begin in 6-weeks, The Guadian reports.
According to The Guardian, Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt revealed this proposal in the Coalition party room Tuesday after Liberal MP Jason Falinski asked whether vaccinated could exempt people from inbound and outbound travel restrictions imposed by the government.
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Australia shut its borders last march 2020 and imposed a strict 2-week quarantine rule for those arriving in the country. The federal court has also recently upheld the outbound travel band although more than 100,000 Australian citizens and residents have been allowed to travel on compassionate grounds, critical business or other exempted reasons.
There is growing pressure on the federal government to ease the travel ban and provide an incentive for those who will get vaccinated as Australia struggles to reach its targeted number of inoculation by the end of 2021, The Guardian reports.
The flight caps and limited hotel quarantine beds have also left 40,000 Australians stranded abroad.
Minister Hunt told the Coalition party room two weeks ago that a taskforce has already been set up to study and examine how vaccination can positively impact the travel ban.
Minister Hunt said that modelling had begun on Monday and a pilot program could begin in six to eight week’s time.
The travel exemptions would be effective to people vaccinated in Australia and extended to other countries where the vaccination status is reliable like the UK, Canada, Singapore and the United States.
Aussies are already able to travel to New Zealand without having to hotel quarantine as it is the only country categorised as a green zone via the trans-Tasman bubble.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has recently suggested that Aussies could use a Travel Pass app similar to what a few Airlines have been trialling in a bid to spearhead the vaccination incentives.