Statement on the collection of Travel History Cards

​Australian Government Ebola measures: assessing travel history

  • The Australian Government has introduced stronger border screening measures to manage the risk of the Ebola virus entering Australia.
  • The travel history of all travellers is assessed as part of these measures.
  • Travel history is assessed in one of two ways: the Travel History Card or the ‘SmartGate’ system.

Travel History Card

  • A Travel History Card identifies travellerswho have travelled to or from an Ebola-affected country in the past 21 days. 
  • The information collected on the Travel History Card is used to assess which travellersrequire health border screening by the Department of Agriculture’s biosecurity staff. 
  • Travel History Cards are collected from most passengers entering Australia every day. 


  • Travellers who use the automated ‘SmartGate’ system are assessed against the same criteria via an on screen question.
  • If the SmartGate identifies that a traveller may require referral to biosecurity staff from the Department of Agriculture for health border screening, SmartGate will not process the traveller, and will instead direct them to a Customs and Border Protection officer.
  • The physical Travel History Cards of passengers who are assessed by the SmartGate as not requiring health border screening are not routinely collected.
  • However, should a SmartGate-cleared passenger wish to volunteer their physical Travel History Card to officers at the border, the card will be collected.

Requirement to fill out a physical Travel History Card

  • All travellers arriving into Australia by air are required to fill out physical Travel History Cards prior to presenting at the border, whether they choose to use SmartGate or not.
  • This is because the majority of international travellers are at this time not yet eligible to use SmartGate, and because it is not possible for border authorities to know which eligible passengers will chose to self-process using SmartGate.