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China has taken a significant step to recommence international travel after it confirmed the rollout of its health certificate for those who have received a vaccination for Covid-19.
China has taken a significant step to recommencing international travel after it confirmed the rollout of its health certificate for those who have received a vaccination for Covid-19.
China`s foreign ministry announced on Monday it had launched its version of a `vaccine passport` just a day after Foreign Minister Wang Yi revealed the program to reporters on the sidelines of the 13th National People`s Congress in Beijing.
It will be available to Chinese nationals and will be in the form of an encrypted QR code for authorities to verify. Paper versions will also be available.
How China`s health certificate will open up travel
The certificate includes nucleic acid test and serum antibody results, vaccine inoculation and other information.
Addressing reporters on Monday evening, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said China was now willing to discuss the use of the scheme with other countries.
"China stands ready to discuss with other countries on establishing mutual recognition mechanisms for health codes information," he said.
"This will facilitate the issuance of visas, thus making cross-border travel much easier and contributing to the healthy, safe and orderly people-to-people exchanges."
China plans to inoculate at least 60 per cent of its population, equating to roughly 840 million people.
According to Chinese experts, the scheme could be trialled first with Hong Kong and Macau before Beijing gives the green light to begin the scheme with other countries, the Global Times reported.
China, which has successfully suppressed the virus, would only look to cooperate with countries with similar low levels of infection, Zhu Zhengfu, a member of the CPPCC National Committee told the publication.
Australian government exploring vaccine passport options
Australia is one country which too has successfully eradicated community transmission, and with Australian universities desperate for international students to return, it could be a plausible option to fast-track that process.
However the federal government has been reluctant to discuss the opening of Australia`s border, with its border closure extended to at least June 17 earlier this month.
Secretary of the Department of Health, Professor Brendan Murphy, previously warned it was unlikely Australia would commence widespread international travel in 2021.
Yet Government Services Minister, Stuart Robert, previously revealed the government was actively reviewing vaccine passport options and their compatibility with other nations, while Prime Minister Scott Morrison has repeatedly stated he would be open to the development of certain travel bubbles.
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