New Digital System and Australian Reopening Plans

Australia has announced that the country is "on track to reopen by Christmas". The Digital Passenger Declaration will help to welcome international travelers to Australia soon!
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Australia has recently informed about the future plans of the introduction of the COVID-19 vaccination passport digital system called DPD, which stands for the Digital Passenger Declaration. In the light of the hope-bringing plans to reinforce international travels to Australia soon, the implementation of the DPD will be the first significant step to reopen Australian borders to foreign visitors. Due to the prolonging pandemic, Australian authorities have maintained strict travel restrictions. There are only a few exceptions for visitors who are currently allowed to enter Australia. The DPD will enable more international travelers to explore the Australian wonders again. The first DPD version is expected to be launched later this year, while on 22nd Sept, Tourism Minister of Australia, Dan Tehan, said that Australia is on track to reopen by Christmas

What exactly Digital Passenger Declaration is?

Until now, Australia has enforced the requirements of the Travel Declaration Form and the Incoming Passenger Card. These two documents have been obligatory for all passengers exempt from Australia?s travel ban. The currently created DPD system will require  health information and will need to be submitted in an online form 72 hours in advance of the intended trip to Australia. As the Australian reopening plans require passengers tobe fully vaccinated, they will be also obliged to upload vaccination proof. Moreover, the DPD will function as a contact tracing system that will help to reach every international visitor who might have had contact with COVID-19 infected person during the stay in Australia. 

Expected implications of DPD

  • The DPD system is aimed at facilitating the process of data collection as well as sharing information and verifying the correctness of the details provided.
  • The new system of DPD is to enable travelers to fill out their passenger cards using the new digital platform and submit their declarations to customs authorities.
  • Foreigners coming to Australia will be able to upload the proof of COVID-19 full dose vaccination via DPD digital platform.

Who will be eligible for the DPD?

"The Australian reopening" is supposed to be a gradual process. That is why initially only a few selected nations will be able to use the DPD before it becomes widely available to all international travelers. Among the first nations to trial the DPD system are Pacific Island countries, and some main worldwide tourist destinations, such as e.g., the UK, the USA, and Japan.

ETA and eVisitor Visa to Australia

Foreign travelers wishing to visit Australia once the borders will be finally re-opened should remember that there are two types of Australian electronic visas that they can apply for. Depending on the nationality, eVisitor visa is dedicated to European countries citizens, while ETA is issued to citizens of 8 countries: Hongkong, Singapore, the USA, Malaysia, Canada, Brunei-Darussalam, Japan, South Korea. Both these visas allow making a trip to Australia related to tourism or business. As multiple-entry permits, they can be used for numerous entries to the country, while a single stay cannot exceed 90 days. Remember to apply at least 3 business days in advance!

Katarzyna Żyła
2021-09-22

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