Potential matches in the Australian dating scene who are fully vaccinated might soon stand out from the crowd.
While isolated in lockdown, young Australian’s have heavily relied on dating apps as a form of social interaction. As Australia is trying to balance normality and living with coronavirus, there is still major anxiety and concern among singles around dating while being socially responsible for the community’s safety and wellbeing.
Following the lead from dating apps abroad, Bumble in Australia has announced a ‘Vaccination Badge’ that users can display on their profile to show potential matches they are fully vaccinated.
Bronte Gavey has found it mentally and emotionally challenging to date throughout the pandemic and find genuine connections while trying to be COVID safe. “I think that there has been a real desire for connection, especially over the last 18 months, when it has been so weird and isolating,” she said.
Gavey said she would consider someone’s vaccination status while swiping, “once it’s accessible to the wider population, and people have had that opportunity to get vaccinated”.
“That would definitely be something that I would be looking for,” she said.
Trying to get to know someone while in isolation has proven difficult, Gavey says it’s hard to trust that someone hasn’t lied about where they have been. The risk of transmission is too high, so it’s best to stay chatting online, Gavey said: “Can I go for a walk with them, I guess, or get a coffee?”
“I think that’s certainly hard to transition from just chatting and messaging, and then how do you go to that next step when you can’t go out and get a drink or do an activity or something?” Gavey said.
Tinder Australia found that Gen Z singles (18-to-25-year-olds) flocked to the app during strict lockdown periods to help feel connected to others, with 19 per cent more messages sent per day in February 2021 compared to February 2020.
Gavey’s concern of vaccination availability is not unfounded, with many worried that there has been unclear, mixed messaging coming from the Federal government that has left the community with a sense of uncertainty and worry. This has resulted in only 28 percent of the population being fully vaccinated, a far reach from Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s target of 70 per cent before lockdowns are no longer required.
Bumble states that it is relying on user honesty as vaccination status is self-reported and is not independently verified or guaranteed by Bumble.