‘Returning home will be much easier’: Australian government ditches border restrictions

Jul 04, 2022
Australian government scraps major border restriction. Source: Getty

The government has announced a significant change to Australian border requirements, making international travel more accessible for returning travellers.

As of July 6 at 12:01 am, international arrivals will no longer need to declare vaccination status with the Minister for Home Affairs Clare O’Neil saying changes to the Biosecurity Act have seen the Digital Passenger Declaration (DPD) abolished.

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

“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.

“And for Australian citizens, with the removal of these requirements, returning home will be much easier.

“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.

“We’ve also listened to feedback about the DPD. While in time it will replace the paper based incoming passenger card, it needs a lot more work to make it user friendly.”

The Maritime Travel Declaration will also be scrapped for travellers arriving by sea.

Minister for Health and Aged Care Mark Butler said the decision to amend the Biosecurity Act is based on the advice of Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly.

“The Australian Government makes decisions on COVID related issues after considering the latest medical advice,” Butler said.

“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.

“Unvaccinated Australians, as well as certain groups of visa holders, have been able to travel to Australia for some time.

“We will continue to act on the medical advice as needed.”

On June 17, airports across Australia made changes that allowed travellers to wander around mask-free while waiting for flights.

According to the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC), the use of face masks will no longer be necessary for travellers and airport workers, but officials continue to “strongly recommended Australians continue to wear masks as a key measure to help minimise the spread of Covid-19 and influenza”.

Travellers should check the border and travel restrictions of other states and countries and must continue to comply with airline and contractor COVID-19 requirements such as in-flight mask-wearing.

 

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