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TRAVEL & LEISURE

Australia Is Implementing a New Digital Passenger Declaration When International Travel Resumes

The new digital pass will replace physical incoming passenger cards, and will also capture your vaccination status.
By Sarah Ward
September 15, 2021
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By Sarah Ward
September 15, 2021
  shares

When Australians are able to enjoy overseas holidays again, plenty will feel familiar. Booking tickets, planning itineraries, packing suitcases, rushing to the airport because almost no one arrives early — we'll all recognise these steps, and we'll love them. But, more than a few things about hopping on a plane will have changed, too. That'll include wearing masks, using copious amounts of hand sanitiser, social distancing in the airport and verifying our vaccine status.

Some airlines, such as Qantas, have already mentioned that they're likely to only allow passengers who've been fully jabbed to take to the air. The Aussie carrier has also announced that it'll be using a digital health pass to check who is vaxxed. And, for everyone coming into the country — Aussies, tourists and other travellers alike — the Australian Government is set to launch a new Digital Passenger Declaration.

Remember the physical incoming passenger cards we all filled out pre-pandemic when we were heading back home? (Aka the reason you always needed to have a pen in your bag when you were flying?) They're being ditched, and the new DPD will replace them. So, the new digital pass will capture all the same info, plus your coronavirus jab status. The declaration will also replace the COVID-19 Australian Travel Declaration web form that's been in use during the pandemic.

When it's up and running — with Accenture winning the tender to create and operate the DPD, and testing now underway — it'll be able to be filled out 72 hours before you hop on your flight Down Under. And, you'll be able to complete it either on a computer or on your phone, the latter of which will obviously be immensely handy while you're travelling.

​​"The DPD will support the safe reopening of Australia's international borders, by providing digitally verified COVID-19 vaccination details," said Minister for Home Affairs Karen Andrews in a statement. "​This will help us to welcome home increasing numbers of Australians, and welcome the tourists, travellers, international students, skilled workers, and overseas friends and family we've all been missing during the pandemic."

Wondering when you might get to use the new digital pass? The Federal Government has already announced that international travel is earmarked to return when 80 percent of eligible Australians have received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. Further details on how that'll work, and where you'll be able to go, haven't yet been revealed — but Qantas has announced plans to resume its international flights to places with high jab rates from December.

Eager to keep an eye on Australia's vaccination rates? We've run through how to do just that.

For more information about the new Digital Passenger Declaration, head to the Australian Home Affairs website.

Published on September 15, 2021 by Sarah Ward

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