Are you traveling to Australia? Here’s how you can provide health information

Since February 18, people traveling to Australia have had a new way to provide the medical information needed to enter the country: the Digital Passenger Declaration (DPD).

Australia’s Ambassador to Qatar, Jonathan Muir, shared the information on his Twitter page, with DPD details available at https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/digital-passenger-declaration

The Digital Passenger Declaration has replaced the Australian Travel Declaration.

All passengers arriving by air in Australia must complete the DPD. “You can start your DPD seven days before your flight and submit it within 72 hours before you depart for Australia. Indeed, you must provide your information and health declaration (vaccination status and Covid-19 test result) within 72 hours before your flight,” the DPD webpage says.

When filling the DPD, you will need:

1. Provide contact details including a contact phone number in Australia

2. Make a legally binding declaration regarding their vaccination status

3. Make a statement regarding the travel history of the last 14 days

4. Make a statement that one is aware of the quarantine and testing requirements that apply when coming to Australia and the state or territory we land, and the penalties for non-compliance.

The digital passenger declaration asks for essential health information. “You must be able to provide proof that critical information has been completed before boarding the aircraft. This is an enforceable requirement. A person who does not comply with the requirement may be liable to a civil penalty (fine) of 30 penalty units (currently AUD 6,660). This is set out in section 46 of the Biosecurity Act 2015,” the webpage explains.

Giving false or misleading information to the Australian Government is a serious offence. If convicted, the maximum penalty is 12 months imprisonment.

States and territories can also apply penalties to enforce public health orders. This may include Covid-19 testing and self-isolation or quarantine requirements. “If you fail to comply with requirements, including pre-departure and post-arrival testing, you risk serious penalties, including jail time or significant fines. Requirements may change at short notice,” adds the webpage.

The DPD can be completed at https://dpd.homeaffairs.gov.au/

An account will need to be created, which will allow the person to manage current and future returns in one place.

“Make sure you have completed the health section and provide all essential health information within 72 hours of your departure. Providing this information is a binding requirement. This will help ensure that you do not experience any delays unnecessary at the airport or when you arrive in Australia,” the webpage notes.

You don’t have to pay for the DPD – it’s free.

Before starting the declaration, you must have the information below ready:

1. flight number

2. valid passport

3. travel history (14 days before the flight)

4. destination and quarantine arrangements (if required)

5. Covid-19 vaccination record or acceptable proof that you cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons

You will also need to provide a negative Covid-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test or other nucleic acid amplification test result within three days of the flight’s scheduled departure to Australia, or a certificate medical as proof of a negative rapid antigen test (RAT) taken under medical supervision within 24 hours of the scheduled departure of the flight to Australia. You can download it by logging back into your DPD account when you have the test result.

Each passenger is required to complete a DPD. Parents or guardians must complete a declaration for any child under 16 years of age. Anyone aged 16 or over must complete their own declaration.

A completed digital passenger declaration does not guarantee travel to Australia.

Once you have submitted the Digital Passenger Declaration, you will see a summary screen which you must show (either electronically or printed) before boarding your flight and upon arrival in Australia.

The check-in staff will examine your health status, they will display either:

1. Complete: the information you entered in your declaration indicates that you meet the Covid-19 health conditions for boarding. You will still need to show your documentation when checking in. Your airline will make the final decision to let you board your flight.

2. Incomplete: you have not submitted your health information. The digital passenger declaration asks for essential health information. You must be able to prove that you have completed the essential information before boarding.

3. Confirmation required at check-in: This means that you may not have met the requirements to travel to Australia. You must be confirmed when checking in. Your airline will decide if you can travel. If the airline allows you to travel to Australia, you may need to self-quarantine upon arrival. Before starting your DPD, you should check the Ministry of Health website (https://www.health.gov.au/health-alerts/covid-19/international-travel/inbound). This contains details of important health rules that passengers should follow when coming to Australia.

All passengers should check the arrangements made at their place of arrival and at their final destination, as quarantine requirements (https://www.health.gov.au/health-alerts/covid-19/international-travel) are different in each Australian state and territory.

If you need help completing your digital passenger declaration, visit Frequently Asked Questions page to https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/help-text/dpd/Pages/faq-english.aspx

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