Specific health risks are posed by international travellers arriving in Australia. These risks could have a devastating effect on the Australian community and economy. Effective human biosecurity practices are essential in protecting Australia from serious communicable diseases.
Listed human diseases
There are a large number of communicable diseases identified by health authorities as being potential threats to Australia. A small subset of these diseases have been designated as of major concern, known as Listed Human Diseases.
The Director of Human Biosecurity may declare a disease to be a listed human disease, if they consider the disease may be communicable and cause significant harm to human health.
Reporting human health concerns
The operator in charge of the maritime vessel must report ill travellers and their symptoms to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources before arriving in Australia. It is also the passenger’s responsibility to approach a biosecurity officer upon arrival in Australia and inform them if they are feeling unwell. Once the department is informed that a traveller has, or is displaying signs or symptoms of a listed human disease on board a vessel, they will use a Traveller with Illness Checklist (TIC) to determine whether the traveller poses a serious risk to Australian public health.
If the TIC indicates the likelihood of a listed human disease, the biosecurity officer will contact the Chief Human Biosecurity Officer in the relevant State health department who will determine a course of action.
Passenger clearances are undertaken at the first point of entry and all subsequent ports of call while the vessel is in Australian waters. All disembarking passengers will be given an Australian Incoming Passenger Card (IPC) to complete, which will ask questions about goods being brought into Australia and the passenger’s health. The IPC enables the passenger to declare any items of biosecurity concern. Disembarking passengers are not permitted to take biosecurity risk material off the vessel.
Passengers and baggage leaving the vessel will be screened on arrival using a range of measures including inspection by biosecurity officers, x-ray and detector dogs.
If a passenger has been reported by the person in charge or command of the vessel as ill and displaying the symptoms of a prescribed illness, a biosecurity officer will use a Traveller with Illness Checklist (TIC) to determine whether the traveller poses a serious risk to Australian public health.
If the TIC indicates the likelihood of a listed human disease, the officer will contact the Chief Human Biosecurity Officer in the relevant State health department who will determine a course of action.
For more information visit Travelling or sending goods to Australia.
Vessel clearance information