COVID-19: Digital Passenger Declaration – Home quarantine to follow
Announced nearly a year ago in October 2020, an international IT firm has just been awarded the tender to integrate COVID-19 vaccination status into the process of entering the country through the use of the Digital Passenger Declaration (DPD), a digital app which will replace the incoming passenger card.
The new card will hold health information including your vaccination status and is expected to be ready in a matter of months.
Given that Australia is set to reach 80% of adults achieving double vaccination, probably by mid to late November, and with international travel expected to recommence when this goal is met, this announcement is timely. So that should be arriving passengers sorted.
Jane Halton, former health department secretary, on ABC radio national this morning indicated that the next step in Quarantine arrangements was to allow arrivals to complete quarantine at home. A trial is currently being conducted in South Australia, and one is scheduled for NSW shortly. Halton expects a quarantine-at-home system to be in place before Christmas.
Home Quarantine for the vaccinated might be shorter than the current 14-day hotel stay. Eligibility will also require a suitable home to quarantine in. Expect personal monitoring devices (ankle bracelet anyone?) rapid testing and random police spot checks.
I love digital, except when my phone dies, which happened to me on the last night of my recent visit to New Zealand
There are all sorts of hidden complexities here – will it only be offered to the vaccinated? What about those Sino and Russian vaccines that don’t seem to be as effective, and are not approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration? Will it increase the number of international arrivals allowed?
If this gets us back to being able to travel internationally again, and do that safely, then sign me up!