Australia eases border rules for unvaccinated foreigners

Exemptions for unvaccinated tourists will finally be a thing of the past.

By Matt Lennon, July 4 2022
Australia eases border rules for unvaccinated foreigners

International visitors will be able to enter Australia without declaring their Covid-19 vaccination status, with Federal Health Minister Mark Butler confirming the controversial border requirement will officially be scrapped from Wednesday July 6.

While Australian passport holders are currently free to enter regardless of vaccination status, unvaccinated foreign travellers are required to seek an exemption on limited grounds. 

However, that will finally be a thing of the past, with the requirement deemed “no longer necessary” based on the latest advice of Australia’s Chief Medical Officer. 

Just over 1,000 applications were made for unvaccinated foreigners seeking to enter the country in May, with only 158 approved, mostly on compassionate grounds. 

In addition, the need to complete a Digital Passenger Declaration will also be temporarily removed, with Home Affairs Minister Clare O'Neill noting the system – expected to eventually take the place of paper arrival cards – will return in a more user-friendly form.

"I know anyone who has travelled internationally since the borders have opened will find this as one less thing to worry about – especially as more Australians get back to travelling overseas," O'Neill says. 

“While in time it will replace the paper-based incoming passenger card, it needs a lot more work to make it user friendly”. 

Prior to the pandemic, tourism added more than $120 million per day to Australia’s national economy and supported over 650,000 jobs. With fewer hurdles stopping travellers, it’s hoped the tourism industry can return to its former glory. 

All travellers will still be required to comply with any remaining rules of airlines and shipping operators, including the use of face masks on inbound international flights. 

Qantas is the only Australian carrier not enforcing masks on select outbound flights, opting to follow the rules of the intended destination instead. This includes non-stop flights to Rome, the United States, and the United Kingdom, departing from New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Feb 2015

Total posts 349

Common sense is slowly returning.

01 Oct 2021

Total posts 14

This will be good for airlines to increase capacity. I saw a Singapore Air A380 leave storage in Alice Springs to Singapore via Sydney. Seems as though they are re-activating more and more A380s and we could even get more SQ A380s flying to Australia. 

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