The Federal Government has moved closer to introducing digital Covid vaccination passports after striking a deal with Apple and Google to allow digital certificates to readily show Covid vaccination records on both iPhone and Android devices.

Despite issues over privacy, hospitality groups have tentatively welcomed the move, saying it will help the sector get back on its feet after successive lockdowns.

Cafe Owners and Baristas Association of Australia spokesman Sean Edwards said any move to ease restrictions would “be welcome by our industry”, while Australian Hotels Association boss Ian Horne said vaccination passports would “allow us to continue to trade”.

“What does the damage is the closures and the wastage and the loss of work for our employees or loss of income and yet all of our cost structures are still in place, whether it’s paying off debts to banks and things like that,” he told The Advertiser.

Australian Hotels Association chief executive Stephen Ferguson cautiously welcomed any discussion on how the industry might avoid future lockdowns but said there were still a lot of questions around how such a passport style system would work in practice.

“They want the certainty they will not be shut down again and we will consider anything and be part of that discussion that will see us keep the doors open,” Ferguson he told The Advertiser.

Restaurant and Catering Industry Australia chief executive Wes Lambert said there needed to be assurances that individual businesses would not be held liable over privacy or discrimination issues.

 

Sheridan Randall, 3rd August 2021