Australia’s Covid cases continue to rise amid call for vaccine rule unity

Australia on Wednesday reported more than 30,000 new coronavirus cases before international borders set to reopen to fully vaccinated tourists within weeks after almost two years.

Nationally, there were 70 deaths reported on Wednesday, including 24 in Queensland, 21 in Victoria, 20 in New South Wales, two in both Tasmania and South Australia, and one in the Australian Capital Territory, according to figures from states and territories.

There were 3,800 cases being treated in Australian hospitals on Tuesday, including 271 in intensive care units, Xinhua news agency reported citing Australia’s Department of Health.

The federal government on Monday announced that from February 21 international tourists with a valid visa who have received two Covid vaccine doses will be allowed to enter Australia for the first time in nearly two years.

Some state has flagged that a booster shot could be required for tourists to enter hospitality venues in the state.

Dan Tehan, the minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, said it was critical that states and territories have uniform rules for international travellers.

“It will cause problems because there will be a different message,” he told Nine Network radio on Wednesday.

“At the moment it’s two doses. It’s working very well in terms of getting international students back.”

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