Media Release

New Travel History Card features ebola warning

14 November 2014

Increased traveller screening measures take effect at all Australian international airports today.

Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, said heightened measures have been introduced at international airports to safeguard the community against the low possibility that ebola could enter the country.

The measures, announced last week by the Prime Minister and Minister for Health, include a new Travel History Card that all travellers arriving at Australian airports will need to complete as well as a temperature check for those passengers assessed as posing a higher risk.

“From today, the estimated 45,000 travellers entering Australia through our airports on any given day will be required to complete the new Travel History Card as part of the enhanced screening measures,” Minister Joyce said today.

“We have additional staff on hand and have provided extra communication material to support the implementation of these new measures.

“Remember these measures are proportionate and have been introduced to ensure Australia has the best defences in place against this global threat.

“The Department of Agriculture has been working with airport operators and major airlines to implement the enhanced screening measures, and I thank them for their cooperation in dealing with this important public health issue.

“These targeted checks also mean that at-risk passengers are identified early and will have quick access to appropriately trained medical practitioners – should they need it.

“Australia’s world class biosecurity system covers human health, animal and plant health and gives us the right scientific advice and operational tools to manage high risk issues as they arise.

“Australia’s biosecurity officers have long played a critical role in ensuring diseases such as tuberculosis and yellow fever don’t get a foothold in Australia by assessing and referring passengers to state health practitioners where required.

“Their existing skills have been enhanced through ebola-specific training – that will keep travellers, airport staff, biosecurity officers and health practitioners safe. 

“I want to thank our biosecurity officers for their continued professionalism and commitment to protecting Australia,” Minister Joyce said.

*** Travel History Card and file footage of temperature checks being performed is available by contacting the Department of Agriculture media team at media@agriculture.gov.au ***