Vaccine Passports

It's the big question that everyone is asking:

What's the plan for events once we hit certain vaccination levels across the country?

Firstly, please note, none of the below should be considered legal advice in any way and each business should perform their own due diligence and establish their own policies with regard to requiring proof of vaccination at events.

Although the answer to the above question is a bit like gazing into a crystal ball, there are a number of more specific questions that customers have recently been asking, that we are looking at answering.

To date, the most regular question asked by our clients regarding vaaccine passports has been:

Will Register Now be able to integrate with vaccine passports?

The below is merely a response with the current knowledge we have (which is ever evolving!) Unfortunately at the moment there are more questions than answers, but we thought it prudent to provide some initial information.

Let’s start by answering a preliminary question - What is a vaccine passport?

Currently, Australians can obtain a vaccine certificate via their MyGov profile, usually in the Express Plus Medicare app, and is available for people who have had both doses of an approved vaccine and looks like the example below.

Although yet to be ratified, the Prime Minister has indicated that this digital certificate will be linked to each of the State Government’s existing QR check-in platforms. There is not clear direction on how this could be used, however, it is inferred that a business could verify someone’s vaccination status when they check into their site.

Unconfirmed at this point, it is highly unlikely that non government platforms, such as Register Now, will be granted integration access to verify someone’s vaccination status. This means that there will not be a way to verify vaccination status of someone when registering online for an event.

Some organisations, such as Qantas Airlines and dating app Hinge, have begun their own campaign to track customer vaccination status. Qantas Frequent Flyers can upload a pdf copy of their vaccine certificates into their QFF App (check it out) where as the Hinge dating app simply asks users to update their profile:

A mockup of Hinge’s vaccination indicator. Image: Hinge

It’s worth noting that even though Qantas is collecting a pdf copy of the certificate, they haven't yet outlined what the procedure will be for checking in for a flight. There is also the issue of verifying authenticity of the pdf certificates with recent high profile online articles outlining how to copy or create fake certificates.

So with this all in mind, the most likely conclusion is that IF you need to verify vaccine status for your event it is likely to be more of an operational consideration than relying on computer integrations. The question of how you set up an event site to ensure that all participants and spectators check in will no doubt pose challenges for an industry that is primarily conducted outdoors in public spaces.

If your event is going to have a requirement for being vaccinated, we suggest that you include this both in your waiver, and, as a separate required question. Setting this up as a participant question calls out its importance instead of relying on it merely existing hidden in a waiver. A compulsory participant question is useful in this function in addition to the waiver. For more information on setting up Participant Questions in the system click here and as always Register Now’s friendly support team is here to provide guidance on the best way to to collect acknowledgements from participants.

One final element to consider for 2022 and beyond, is that many events have had participants defer from 2020 and 2021 into future editions of the event. When they registered (some of these participants before COVID-19 existed!) they won’t have agreed to these new terms, so some consideration would need to be given to these cases.

As we said, more questions than answers at this point in time.

The team at Register Now will continue to monitor this evolving space, to keep our clients informed, and to offer a smooth, efficient registration journey to participants.