With countries and continents like Europe, UK and Canada flagging their intention to introduce a digital vaccine passport system, experts say Australia is not far from doing the same.
OnePassport is an electronic immunisation register that is able to record various vaccine and virus test results.
Vaccinations can be verified through the app, with the individual being able to scan the batch details upon immunisation.
Mr Maher recently submitted briefs to the offices of Trade Minister Dan Tehan and Education Minister Alan Tudge as governments actively consider options for rolling out a digital vaccine passport.
He believes vaccine passports are the way of the future.
“I believe this is the new reality,” Mr Maher told 9News.com.au.
“I don’t believe [vaccines] will be made mandatory, but I do think it will be required to travel internationally.”
Once international travel resumes, Mr Maher said it’s likely testing negative to COVID-19 before boarding overseas flights will be the first measure introduced.
“A recent negative test result will likely be first for international travel … one before you fly, one before you arrive,” he said.
Air New Zealand became one of the first airlines to trial using a type of vaccine passport, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) app.
Qantas has been trialling a number of digital passport apps, which stores information about passenger test results and immunisations, in the hopes new technology will be able to revive international travel.
“We are expecting that it will be a digital solution,” Qantas chief customer officer Steph Tully said at a recent event.
“So we have been working on vaccination-type passports, not just for vaccination, but even for testing, depending on what the requirements are.
“We’ve been trialling a couple of the apps including the IATA app.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison last week said he was open to the idea of “vaccine passports” to allow people to travel more freely.
He said the topic was something his medical expert panel was “working on right now”.
“I think that is the next step, but I do think that next step is some way away,” Mr Morrison told 3AW.
“If you’re fully vaccinated, that you would be able to travel, certainly around Australia, but maybe overseas, without the need for hotel quarantine.”
“We believe that most governments are going to require this,” he said at an event.
“I think Iceland now is putting into place a requirement that if you get vaccinated you don’t have to quarantine.
“The Israelis are talking to the people in Cyprus and they’ll let you go travelling quarantine-free if you’re vaccinated.
“So we know this has already happening around the globe, and it’s the likelihood when we look at the Australian market.”
A poll of Qantas frequent flyers showed 89 per cent supported mandatory vaccines.
“We think that to be without quarantine there’ll have to be vaccinations,” Mr Joyce added.
The EU intends to implement a ‘Digital Green Pass’ by the end of June.
This would be a health certificate that allows EU citizens vaccinated against COVID-19 to travel safely around the continent.
It would also allow those who have tested negative or recently recovered from the virus to move around freely.
The British government is also working with counterparts in Scotland, Wales and Ireland to establish a vaccine passport.
Canada has indicated it may introduce a vaccine passport scheme to allow citizens to travel internationally.
The US has not mandated a vaccine passport for travel into the country, however various businesses, including more than 60 stadiums and venues, have deployed an app to verify people’s COVID-19 status.
Major League Baseball teams San Francisco Giants and New York Mets were among the first to demand crowds to prove they tested negative to COVID-19 or have been vaccinated against it.
Mr Maher said the “technology exists” for Australian stadiums and venues to roll out something similar to verify crowds at events and sporting games.
“It almost combines the immunisation passport and the QR code system,” he said.
In terms of the next step to roll out a vaccine passport, Mr Maher said it was about working with both state and federal governments to agree on a solution.
“It’s trying to get multiple parties on the same page which is one of the challenges,” he said.
“The NSW Government is probably at the tipping point of doing it.
“It all comes down to government.”