Home Travel Huge COVID Update For Travel To Australia

Huge COVID Update For Travel To Australia

by SharonKurheg

While those of us in the U.S. are enjoying a long holiday weekend (unless you’re stuck with travel troubles from delayed and canceled flights – sorry, y’all), the rest of the world goes on as if July 4th weekend isn’t a big deal. ‘Cuz to them, it’s not. 😉

Anyway, with that, it’s “business as usual” in the land Down Under, and according to several Australian news outlets, incoming foreign travelers will no longer need to show proof of receiving any COVID vaccines, effective later this week.

Currently, anyone who arrives in Oz must declare their vaccination status before arriving. Although Australians have been able to arrive unvaccinated, most visitors have had to get an exemption, for a very few limited approved reasons (in May 2022, about 1000 exemption applications were sent in – 158 were approved, mainly for “compassionate” reasons).

As of 12:01am on Wednesday, July 6th, all of that will be done – anyone can enter, regardless of vaccination status.

Federal Health Minister Mark Butler said the decision was being made now on medical advice. “The Chief Medical Officer has advised it is no longer necessary for travelers to declare their vaccine status as part of our management of COVID,” he said.

Visitors to Australia also had to fill out a Digital Passenger Declaration (DPD), which included their vaccination status. The DPDs will also end, effective July 6th.

“Removing these requirements will not only reduce delays in our airports but will encourage more visitors and skilled workers, said Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil.

As of July 2, Australia, with a population of 25.7 million, was averaging about 32,000 new cases of COVID per week. However, like the rest of the world, most are versions of Omicron, a more contagious but generally less deadly variant. Over 95% of Australians are fully vaccinated against COVID, making it one of the most-vaccinated countries in the world against the potentially killer virus.

Inbound travelers will still be required to wear a mask on planes bound for Australia, as well as follow any state rules regarding mask use on domestic flights.

Feature Photo: public domain

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

 

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