Government announces plan for digital passenger declaration

passenger jet flying over ocean at sunset

The prospect of international borders reopening is a step closer, with the federal government announcing that technology group Accenture would be responsible for delivering a new digital border pass.

The Digital Passenger Declaration (DPD) will replace the physical incoming passenger card and the COVID-19 Australian Travel Declaration web form, and will capture the vaccination status of passengers up to 72 hours prior to boarding as well as other essential information.

According to home affairs minister Karen Andrews, who announced the plan in a joint statement with Stuart Robert, passengers coming into Australia will be able to complete the DPD on their mobile device or computer.

Read: Qantas announces inflight entertainment upgrade

Ms Andrews said the DPD was all part of the government taking proactive steps to ensure the safe reopening of the border at scale when it was supported by the health advice.

“The DPD will support the safe reopening of Australia’s international borders, by providing digitally verified COVID-19 vaccination details,” Ms Andrews said.

​​”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.”

Read: Airbnbs that feel out of this world

Mr Robert, the minister responsible for the government’s data and digital policies, said once the DPD was up and running his department would investigate ways the technology could be reused to deliver a suite of digital upgrades to other government services.

“The overarching digitisation program could include visas, import permits, personnel identity cards, licences, registrations, and other documents, making previously cumbersome processes easier, safer and more transparent,” he said.

Read: Eight controversial travel gadgets

The DPD will also provide the capacity to collect, verify and share any Australian government-approved and digitally verified travel, health and vaccine status information of international travellers with state and territory public health authorities. 

The DPD will now move into a testing phase before being deployed throughout major Australian airports.

According to the national plan, the government has said that international travel will resume once 80 per cent of the adult population has been vaccinated, a target that could be met by mid-November.

When do you think Australia’s international borders will reopen? How long will you wait before you travel overseas? Why not share your thoughts in the comments section below?

If you enjoy our content, don’t keep it to yourself. Share our free eNews with your friends and encourage them to sign up.

Written by Ben Hocking

Ben Hocking is a skilled writer and editor with interests and expertise in politics, government, Centrelink, finance, health, retirement income, superannuation, Wordle and sports.

Leave a Reply

two kayaks on edge of water at katherine gorge

Top 10 things to do in the Northern Territory

pile of frequent flyer cards from various airlines

Travel SOS: Why has my frequent flyer card lost money?