Scott Morrison – How Aussies will prove they have received COVID jab
Digital “proof of vaccination” certificates will be stored and displayed on phone apps as part of the federal government’s plans for the national coronavirus vaccine rollout.
The Express Plus Medicare app and MyGov accounts will both store digital proof-of-vaccination certificates, while those who require a hard copy will be able to access a printout from vaccine providers and Services Australia offices.
Cabinet approval for the scheme is due in the next two weeks, Nine Newspapers reported on Sunday.
An update to the Medicare app will also be developed as part of the plan, which aims to make proof of vaccine quick and easy to access.
It is expected the certificates will simplify visits to nursing homes and hospitals, and could even be required for interstate travel if future lockdowns are needed.
They will also play a role in the reopening of international borders, which is expected to begin from later this year.
The federal parliament last week passed laws that require vaccine providers to record all the vaccines they administer, including the COVID-19 vaccine, on the national register.
Previously, the reporting of vaccinations had been voluntary.
HOTEL CLUSTER ‘NOT YET CONTAINED’
No new cases of coronavirus were detected in Victoria overnight, but it will be another week before health authorities can confirm they have successfully contained the latest hotel quarantine outbreak.
Health Minister Martin Foley praised Victorians on Sunday after more than 15,000 people got tested on Saturday,
Mr Foley said out of an “abundance of caution”, close contacts of the hotel worker who tested positive this week had been expanded from 17 to 21 people.
All four new close contacts have tested negative, but will continue to isolate for 14 days.
Mr Foley said Victoria was now at the “halfway mark” of containing the Grand Hyatt outbreak.
“It will still take one more week before can say we have successfully seen this one off,” Mr Foley said.
“But the signs are positive.”
Mr Foley said health authorities had made their way through more than 70 per cent of the 1151 primary contacts in isolation, and so far all had returned negative results.
PM ACCUSED OF ‘GOING MISSING’
Scott Morrison has been accused of “going missing” during the coronavirus pandemic, as the federal opposition continues to question his leadership on issues including state borders and national quarantine.
Deputy Labor leader Richard Marles said the Prime Minister has failed to unite the states during the crisis.
“When the states have disagreed, the ability of this prime minister to get consistency at a national level, across the states, has been essentially zero,” he told the ABC’s Insiders program on Sunday.
“He has gone missing when the going has got tough.”
Mr Morrison has no legal powers to override state leaders closing their borders for health reasons.
But Mr Marles said the federal government had “relegated itself to the sidelines” and should be part of the decision-making process around closures.
“I think we would have had much greater consistency” he said.
“In crises before, what you’ve actually seen is national governments which have led within our federation.”
The deputy Labor leader also called on the government to show greater leadership around possible reform to the federal quarantine system.
He said it needed to “dust off” a report written former senior public servant Jane Halton last year, which recommended facilities including the Learmonth RAAF base be used for “surge” capacity.
“I think one of the really marked aspects of the COVID-19 crisis, which we’ll look back on, is the degree to which the government has been prepared to abrogate itself of responsibility when there have been moments of greatest crisis,” he said.
“That’s particularly the case in relation to quarantine.”
There are no restrictions around travelling to or from regional or rural NSW, or other areas of NSW.
However, NSW Health currently recommends practising COVID safe behaviours such as physical distancing and hand hygiene when travelling within NSW, especially between Greater Sydney and regional and rural areas.
All travellers coming to South Australia must complete a Cross Border Travel Registration.
From February 4, any person who was at the Grand Hyatt Hote in Melbourne between midnight on January 21 and midnight on January 31 must notify SA Health to be subjected to supervised quarantine for 14 days and submit to testing. The same rule applies to close contacts.
From midnight on January 31, travel is permitted from Greater Sydney, Wollongong and the Central Coast to South Australia.
Upon arrival, travellers must immediately self-quarantine and must remain in that place until a negative COVID-19 test result is received.
The regions of Peel, Perth and South West are now considered a restricted zone.
Travellers arriving from Peel, Perth and South West, must self-quarantine at a suitable place and submit to COVID-19 testing on day 1, 5 and 12. They can be released from self-quarantine upon written advice of a negative COVID-19 test result.
People from anywhere in Australia entering Victoria must apply for a permit to enter the state.
Victoria has also reopened its border to the majority of NSW.
The Perth metropolitan area, the Peel region and the South West region of WA has now changes to an orange zone.
People in orange zones can apply for a permit to enter Victoria provided they had not been in close contact with a coronavirus case and do not have any symptoms.
On arrival in Victoria, orange zone permit holders must isolate at their home or accommodation, get a coronavirus test, and continue isolating until they have received a negative result.
All arrivals to the Northern Territory must: fill in a Border Entry Form, complete 14 days of mandatory supervised quarantine at your own expense, if you have recently been in an active declared COVID-19 hot spot. This includes children returning from a hotspot.
If you have been in Greater Melbourne since January 29 and arrived into Queensland you should get tested – even if you do not have symptoms – and isolate until you receive a result.
Specific areas of Western Australia have been declared COVID-19 hotspots.
Interstate travellers are now permitted to enter WA, subject to meeting strict conditions.
All people arriving into WA from overseas are subject to the Commonwealth Government’s mandatory quarantine period of 14 days in a State Quarantine Facility (hotel quarantine) at their own expense.
Travellers who have spent time in a high-risk domestic region or premises (including in Western Australia, Victoria and New Zealand) in the 14 days before arriving in Tasmania are not permitted to enter Tasmania, unless approved as an Essential Traveller.
If entry is approved, there may be a quarantine requirement in government-designated accommodation (fees can apply).
AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY
As of 6pm February 5, all local government areas in WA are no longer considered COVID-19 affected areas.
Anyone who has been in a potential high-risk exposure site in Victoria needs to quarantine and get tested.
Originally published as How Aussies will prove they have received COVID jab