The Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) welcomes the recent announcement by the Commonwealth Minister for Health, The Hon. Sussan Ley, to begin the phasing out the Ebola-related Travel History Cards.
“The process of phasing out cards will be completed as early as December 2015, which is well timed as the Australian travel and tourism industry enters the busy period of Christmas travel,” said Jayson Westbury AFTA Chief Executive.
Whilst there has been 28,575 globally reported cases of Ebola, Australians have always been at a low risk, as the United States is the only country with direct air access to Australia and has only had four reported cases. Importantly, the United States has been declared Ebola free since December 2014.
SmartGates will continue to ask travellers questions about their recent travel, including, if a traveller has been to an Ebola-affected country. AFTA welcomes the maintenance of screening of passengers leaving from airports in affected West African countries and the ruling that they will not be able to board an aircraft if displaying symbols of Ebola.
“The Government’s decision to remove the Ebola-related Travel History Cards is somewhat overdue, but is welcomed. It is pleasing to see that the Government remains committed to ensuring any future outbreak is managed efficiently and effectively,” concluded Westbury.