- Australia closed its borders almost 18 months ago to contain the COVID-19 spread,
- COVID-19 vaccination is one of the major considerations that can help resume travel and recover domestic and international tourism.
- From October 2021, the Australian federal government will launch vaccination passports for Australians travelling overseas.
The global travel and hospitality sector took a massive hit last year, and many airlines are still grappling to remain afloat. The COVID-19 pandemic brought border closure and suspended most of the international travel.
Australia’s travel industry is no different and was impacted as severely as the rest of the world. With the world facing an unprecedented economic recession due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the travel and tourism industry continue to face a substantial decline in global demand amid travel restrictions, including the closure of international borders.
Australia closed its borders almost 18 months ago to contain COVID-19 to curb the spread of COVID-19. But now, with the increasing vaccination rates, the nation is possibly just a few months away from relaxing restrictions on international travel.
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Vaccination to rebuild travel and hospitality sector
COVID-19 vaccination is one of the major driving factors that can help resume travel and recover domestic as well as international tourism. To rebuild the severely impacted travel and hospitality industry, boosting vaccination drive is a meaningful way forward. Resuming the mass tourism industry depends on the success of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign which needs voluntary participation to reduce the health risks to hosts as well as visitors.
Moreover, international travel could be one of the last things that will return to routine, particularly with quarantine still mandatory in some nations. While some countries are opening up for entry, and travellers have to confirm that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
From October 2021, the federal government will introduce vaccination passports for Australians travelling overseas. The government is planning to roll out this vaccine passport via a phone app.
After 18 months of closure to curb the spread of COVID-19, the country has unveiled its plans to experiment with the use of vaccine passports, ahead of potentially reopening the borders by Christmas.
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COVID-19 vaccine availability in Australia
- Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, Spikevax- The Australian government is rolling out 440,000 shots of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Moderna Inc (NASDAQ:MRNA) through pharmacies this week. The orders for additional doses of vaccine for next week will be finalised soon. Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine is currently recommended for people between 12 and 59 years old.
Australia’s Health Minister, Greg Hunt, said-
- AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine- The vaccine developed by AstraZeneca Plc (LON:AZN) has been provisionally authorised by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) for people 18 years and older. From a regulatory viewpoint, the Australian regulator has examined all the available evidence and decided that the two jabs of AstraZeneca’s vaccine can be given 4-12 weeks apart.
- Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine- The vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE) and BioNTech SE (NASDAQ:BNTX), Comirnaty, has been provisionally approved by the TGA for 12 years and older Australians. Most people in Australia can safely get Pfizer-BioNTech’s Comirnaty. After administering the first dose of Pfizer’s vaccine, a second shot is administered at least after 21 days for completing the vaccination schedule.
Before the country opens for international travel, the government is urging people to get their vaccine. Moreover, the introduction of vaccination passports for Australians travelling overseas is another vital initiative the federal government took before lifting the restrictions.
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