Australia to scrap remaining Covid restrictions at border in boost for tourism

·2-min read
People sit out on Australia’s famous Bondi Beach  (AFP via Getty Images)
People sit out on Australia’s famous Bondi Beach (AFP via Getty Images)

Australia will drop its remaining Covid border restrictions meaning travellers will no longer have to declare their vaccination status for entry.

In a boost to tourism, holidaymakers will be able to visit the country with no vaccination rules for the first time since the border was opened to tourists in February.

International travellers will no longer need to declare their vaccination status on a Digital Passenger Declaration form.

It will come into effect at 3pm British Summer Time on Tuesday.

Clare O’Neil, minister for Home Affairs, 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.

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

Incoming arrivals will still need to comply with other Covid rules such as masks on flights.

However Qantas, the flag carrier airline, has said it plans to still keep its vaccine mandate for passengers on its flights.

All international arrivals into Australia have been required to fill out a Digital Passenger Declaration which records whether they have had their jabs.

Instead paper international arrival cards will be used.

“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,” said Ms O’Neill.

“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 announcement also affects those who enter the country by sea, with the scrapping of travel declarations that applied to cruise-ship passengers and maritime crew.

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