The Australian government has announced an end to requirements for international travellers to declare COVID-19 vaccination status. Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil and Health Minister Mark Butler on Sunday announced that, from Wednesday, travelers arriving in Australia will no longer have to complete a Digital Passenger Declaration (DPD) to declare vaccination status.
It marks an end to all Australia’s international travel restrictions more than two years after they were first introduced in March 2020 to prevent the spread of COVID-19. “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 in a statement.
“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.” All people flying to Australia will still be required to wear face masks for the duration of the flight.
The announcement came when COVID-19 case numbers continue to rise in Australia. On Monday morning, Australia reported more than 25,000 new COVID-19 cases and 25 deaths, 24 in Victoria and one in New South Wales.
Butler said “it is pretty clear” that the cases are going to rise in the next couple of months. “It is putting pressure on hospitals with more than 3,000 people in hospital today with COVID. We are still seeing around 300 or more deaths every week with COVID,” Butler told reporters on Sunday.
“We are not through this virus yet so that’s why I continue to reinforce to people to get their third dose of the vaccine.”