Australian Government scraps Ebola form for international travellers

By Chris Chamberlin, November 12 2015
Australian Government scraps Ebola form for international travellers

International jetsetters will no longer need to complete and present a ‘travel history card’ when returning to Australia from mid-December as the Federal Government winds back its Ebola screening measures at the nation’s airports.

The move is welcome news for frequent business travellers whose travel history cards are already seldom collected when using the SmartGate channel, as the kiosk questions automatically identify passengers who may be at risk and direct these people to the appropriate staff.

For all other travellers, the only information gained beyond that already collected on the standard incoming passenger cards is the traveller’s seat number, making travel history cards cumbersome for the bulk of high flyers.

“With the Ebola threat safely behind us, the Travel History Card has now just become another piece of red tape to fill in at the airport… (and) no longer serve(s) a meaningful purpose,” said Tourism & Transport Forum CEO Margy Osmond.

“The universal requirement for inbound passengers to complete this card has caused facilitation delays at the border and unnecessary inconvenience to passengers,” Osmond added, noting that the number of reported Ebola cases has now declined to less than five per week across the globe.

In the interim, passengers should continue to complete both the incoming passenger card and the travel history card until the specific ‘end date’ has been chosen and communicated to airlines and Australian Border Force workers.

Completing the regular incoming passenger card will still be a requirement for all travellers entering Australia, whether under an Australian passport or as a foreign citizen.

Also read: Brisbane Airport takes outgoing passenger cards digital

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 May 2011

Total posts 220

I'm going mine as a memento in that case.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Jun 2015

Total posts 25

I don't remember ever handing mine in... I think the staff were pretty relaxed about it all.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Apr 2011

Total posts 101

My wife & I flew into Melbourne on Tuesday evening from Singapore & staff didn't collect the form

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 954

The only one they've collected from me was when they first came out (was traveling the time and got back to AU during the first week of the cards). The other times entering AU, they just took the smartgate ticket. When I saw this story, I was hoping they would stop handing out the pointless paper now.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 Jul 2015

Total posts 223

Thank goodness! Trying to fill in forms at 4.am whhilst flkying home to Sydney was not exactly much fun

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

21 Aug 2015

Total posts 1

About time. The forms, when they were filled in, were being dumped into plastic buckets at MEL. If a case was ever reported in AU I suspect the person would be in a serious condition and anyone sitting near them in a bad way by the time the card could be located.

Also, when will be getting rid of arrival and departure cards? Surely in 2015 there are easier ways to do this.

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 954

When someone offers to sell the government some machine to do it for $millions.


Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Australian Government scraps Ebola form for international travellers