Border Force officials are NOT checking travellers' vaccine certificates before allowing them to enter Australia

Airlines relied on to check and vouch for passengers' vaccination details Vax status must also be revealed through online Australia Travel DeclarationOmricon variant of Covid-19 has increased the urgency for further vax checks 

International travellers are being allowed into Australia without having their vaccine status checked by Border Force officers, despite the dangers posed by the new Omicron strain of Covid-19.

Border Force relies on airlines to check and vouch for passengers’ vaccination details at their port of departure before flying to Australia. Some passengers are checked again when they arrive at an Australian international airport.

Such inspections are being increased due to the Omicron variation, but Border Force officers still won’t be checking every arriving passenger.

International travellers (pictured) wearing personal protective equipment arrive at Melbourne's Tullamarine Airport on November 29, 2021. Some passengers are not having their vaccine details checked by Border Force

International travellers (pictured) wearing personal protective equipment arrive at Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport on November 29, 2021. Some passengers are not having their vaccine details checked by Border Force

Since the first case of Omicron was detected in Australia last weekend, there have been five more infections.    

The sixth case is a woman in her 30s who reportedly visited several venues on the NSW Central Coast while infectious.

She arrived in Sydney on Saturday after travelling to at least two southern African countries prior to her arrival.

People about to travel to Australia have to give details of their vaccination status through the online Australia Travel Declaration. 

Giving false information or producing faked documents can lead to tough penalties.  

‘Verification of Covid-19 vaccinations occurs at check-in for departure to and from Australia, with the passenger presenting their international vaccination certificate to an airline agent,’ a Border Force spokesman told the Herald Sun.

In many cases, Australian Border Force (pictured) relies on airlines to check and vouch for passengers' vaccination details at their port of departure before flying to Australia

In many cases, Australian Border Force (pictured) relies on airlines to check and vouch for passengers’ vaccination details at their port of departure before flying to Australia

‘This will be accompanied by a legally binding attestation of their vaccination status in the Australia Travel Declaration.’

Information provided in the declaration identifies which passengers need to enter quarantine – based on, for example, which country they are coming from or have recently visited – and is used to refer them state and territory officials for quarantine and contact tracing.

From December 1, the federal government is introducing a Digital Passenger Declaration (DPD) which will replace the existing physical incoming passenger card and travel declaration form.

Passengers can fill out the online declaration, including their vaccination status, up to 72 hours before leaving for Australia. 

‘The DPD will increasingly incorporate digital verification as international digital vaccine certificate systems come on line,’ a spokesman said.

Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews previously said the DPD would give ‘a whole heap of information’ to Australian border officials before passengers even board a plane.

This would then ensure a smoother process when they arrive at an Australian airport. 

‘We are making sure that when we are ready to reopen our international borders – when it’s safe to do – that we will be able to bring passengers in and out of the country,’ Ms Andrews said. 

Vaccine details (Australian example pictured) of many international passengers are not checked upon arrival to Australia

Vaccine details (Australian example pictured) of many international passengers are not checked upon arrival to Australia

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