International borders a step closer to re-opening

Australia's international borders are a step closer to re-opening after the Federal Government announced the appointment of a company to develop the Digital Passenger Declaration.

The DPD will replace the incoming passenger card and the COVID-19 travel declaration online form.

The government said the DPD would capture "essential information" for travellers, such as their vaccination status.

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An empty Qantas check in area at Sydney International Airport.

Any "Australian government-approved and digitally-verified travel, health and vaccine status information" will be able to be shared with state and territory health authorities.

People entering Australia will be able to complete the DPD on a mobile device or a computer.

​​"The DPD will support the safe re-opening of Australia's international borders, by providing digitally-verified COVID-19 vaccination details," Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews said.

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​​"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."

The program is also set to be expanded into other areas.

The minister responsible for data and digital policy, Stuart Robert, said that following the implementation of the DPD, the government would consider how the same technology​y could be reused to deliver a suite of digital upgrades to other government services.

​"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," Mr Robert said.

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Passengers at Sydney Airport. At present it is difficult to both leave or enter Australia.

Accenture was awarded the work through a tender process run independently by the Department of Home Affairs.

The first iteration of the DTD is set to debut later this year, with the program currently in a testing phase.

Accenture will work closely with the Department to deliver the initial operating capability of the DPD later in the year.

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