For Aussies looking to travel internationally, a new digital border pass will replace both the physical Incoming Passenger Card and the digital COVID-19 Australian Travel Declaration form and be rolled out in just months.
The Digital Passenger Declaration will collect personal information including passengers’ vaccination status up to 72 hours before boarding and provide the digital authority for vaccinated Australians to travel.
Accenture, one of the world’s largest technology consulting firms had been awarded the tender to roll out the program, revealed Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews.
Ms Andrews said the DPD would support the “safe reopening of the border at scale when supported by health advice” by providing digitally verified COVID-19 vaccination details.
“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,” she said.
The new digital system will link in with QR code vaccination certificates, which will be introduced this month, so it can digitally give permission to vaccinated travellers to enter the country.
The vaccine certificates, which have been developed by Services Australia and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, will connect with the DPD, which is being developed by the Department of Home Affairs, to allow for the collection of health information. The DPD will also provide the capacity to share information about people’s travel, health and vaccine status with state and territory public health authorities.
Passengers coming into Australia will be able to complete the DPD on their mobile device or computer.
It is anticipated that once Australia reaches its vaccination milestone of 80 per cent fully vaccinated, it will drop the international travel ban.
The DPD will move into a testing phase before being deployed at scale throughout Australia’s largest airports.