Call for vaccine passports grows louder to ‘protect the future of events’

The call for vaccine passports is growing louder with business groups joining live events figures pushing for a pathway to reopen major events in Melbourne.

Live Nation Australia said it wants to trial the reopening of live events with punters needing to show proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test following its parent company announcing that all artists, crew and attendees at US and UK events must be fully vaccinated or tested negative from October 4.

Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief Paul Guerra said that Melbourne must find a pathway to reopen major events or risk losing its title as the events capital of Australia.

“The AFL grand final, Spring Racing Carnival and Bass Coast Festival of Motorsport are all coming up fast and without a way to welcome crowds safely, Victoria risks losing its mantle as the food, cultural, events and sports capital,” Guerra told The Herald Sun.

“We must look at everything to protect the future of events, and vaccination passports can have a valid role to play.”

Australian Hotels Association Victoria branch president David Canny said they support the idea of vaccine passports in order to open up venues and keep them open.

“We see a vaccination passport as an opportunity to open up again and now is the time to get the legal framework in place,” he told The Herald Sun.

Simon Thewlis, of Save Victorian Events, said all pathways need to be considered.

“A vax passport will probably be the difference between many events being viable, or not,” he said.

“It will help give events a level of certainty that people need to put their money down.

“Whether it’s a gathering of people for a conference, or thousands for a music festival — vax passports become the best option.”