Australia will replace its incoming passenger arrivals card with a digital app which will also allow COVID vaccination certificates to be attached, if required as a condition of entry from certain countries.
Other data stored on the new Digital Passenger Declaration app, which the government plans to launch by September 2021, could include visa information.
"This new capability will strip away the need to scan paper cards," says Alan Tudge, Acting Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs.
"Currently, the government collects a range of passenger information, including contact details, customs and biosecurity information from citizens and non-citizens entering Australia using a manual, paper based process."
Tudge said the digital app would streamline the processing of travellers arriving from overseas and "put us in a prime position to successfully reopen our borders in a COVID-safe way."
The Digital Passenger Declaration will also be available on a laptop computer or tablet and "will also allow certified COVID vaccination certificates to be digitally uploaded and connected if and when they become available."
Australia's Department of Immigration and Border Protection – precursor to today's Department of Home Affairs – scrapped the green departure cards for outbound travellers in mid-2017, and at the time indicated the days of the orange arrivals cards were also numbered.
As previously reported, the government is also weighing an option for travellers arriving from low-risk countries to enter home isolation rather than hotel quarantine.