Australia eases vaccine declaration rules for travellers

passengers walking through international arrivals gate at airport

International travellers arriving in Australia no longer have to declare their COVID-19 vaccination status. The rule was scrapped on 6 July 2022, based on advice from Commonwealth chief medical officer Paul Kelly.

Read: How to cut your chances of catching COVID on a plane

All travellers to Australia are no longer required to submit their contact details, vaccination status and where they have been in the past 14 days or comply with quarantine and testing requirements under the Digital Passenger Declaration (DPD).

“The Australian government makes decisions on COVID-related issues after considering the latest medical advice,” health minister Mark Butler said in a statement announcing the decision.

“The chief medical officer has advised it is no longer necessary for travellers to declare their vaccine status as part of our management of COVID.”

Read: Qantas scraps another COVID travel rule

The update to the rule means that unvaccinated people will not require exemptions to enter Australia. All travellers must still comply with any remaining COVID requirements of airlines and shipping operators, as well as other countries and states and territories.

This currently includes wearing masks on inbound international flights. State and territory orders mandating masks on domestic flights also remain in place.

“We will continue to act on the medical advice as needed,” Mr Butler said.

People now arriving from overseas will no longer need to complete a digital passenger declaration (DPD) form. This will be positive news to many after the app was plagued by bugs and problems that caused a great deal of frustration.

Read: Government’s digital passenger app gets scathing reviews

Home affairs minister Clare O’Neil told the Australian Financial Review that the easing of vaccination reporting requirements meant the declaration form was no longer necessary.

“This is great news for families coming home from school holidays who now don’t need to use the DPD,” Ms O’Neil said.

“As more and more of us travel internationally, and we get more confident in managing our risk of COVID, our airports are getting busier.

“Removing these requirements will not only reduce delays in our airports but will encourage more visitors and skilled workers to choose Australia as a destination.

“I know anyone who has travelled internationally since the borders have opened will find this as one less thing to worry about – especially as more Australians get back to travelling overseas.”

For those without a smartphone, or not tech-savvy when it comes to using apps, it will likely bring great relief.

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Written by Ellie Baxter

Writer and editor with interests in travel, health, wellbeing and food. Has knowledge of marketing psychology, social media management and is a keen observer and commentator on issues facing older Australians.

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