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Australia to reopen international borders with new digital platform

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Australia to reopen international borders with new digital platform

The Australian Government is moving to reopen the country’s international borders to travel by appointing Accenture to deliver the Digital Passenger Declaration. 

The Digital Passenger Declaration (DPD) will be replacing the physical incoming passenger card and the COVID-19 Australian Travel Declaration web form by capturing essential information including passengers’ vaccination status up to 72 hours prior to boarding. Passengers coming into Australia will be able to complete the DPD on their mobile device or computer. 

Minister for Home Affairs Karen Andrews said that the Australian Government was taking steps to ensure the safe reopening of the borders once supported by health advice.  

“The DPD will support the safe re-opening of Australia’s international borders, by providing digitally-verified COVID-19 vaccination details,” Minister Andrews said. 

“This will help us to welcome home increasing numbers of Australians, and welcome the tourists, travellers, international students, skilled workers, and overseas friends and family we’ve all been missing during the pandemic.” 

Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business Stuart Robert said that they will consider how the DPD’s technology can be reused to deliver a suite of digital upgrades to other government services once DPD has been implemented. 

“The overarching digitisation program could include visas, import permits, personnel identity cards, licenses, registrations, and other documents, making previously cumbersome processes easier, safer and more transparent,” Minister Robert said. 

Accenture was awarded the work of creating the DPD through a competitive tender process run independently by the Department of Home Affairs. The company and the Department are working closely together to deliver the initial operating capability of the DPD later this year.  

The DPD will also have the capacity to collect, verify and share any Australian Government-approved and digitally-verified travel, health and vaccine status information of international travellers with State and Territory public health authorities.  

The DPD will be moving into a testing phase before being deployed, at scale, throughout major Australian airports. 

Source: Minister for Home Affairs Media Release. Content has been edited for style and length.

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