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Australia Covid news live: NSW reintroduces QR code check-ins; Victoria considers tougher rules as Omicron cases continue to rise | Australia news



Rapid COVID tests may be free in NSW



Covid-19 testing clinics are reducing their openings hours during the Christmas period despite “unprecedented demand” and reports of hours-long wait times in several states.

Guardian Australia analysis shows 77% of the 490 testing sites listed on the NSW Health website on Wednesday will either close or operate on reduced hours through the Christmas and new year period.

This comes amid record Covid cases in NSW and the highest testing numbers in Victoria since the beginning of the pandemic. Victoria reported 92,262 Covid test results on Wednesday, the most processed in a 24-hour period.

In Melbourne overwhelming demand for testing forced at least 14 testing sites across the city to shut from 9.45am, after reaching capacity.

You can read the full report below:







Australia’s peak doctors body has criticised an “unethical” proposal to charge unvaccinated people for their medical care that is being considered by the New South Wales government.

The state’s health minister, Brad Hazzard, confirmed the government was looking at forcing people who had not received the jab to pay for their medical bills if they required hospital treatment for Covid.

“This is an option under consideration by the NSW government,” Hazzard said in a statement on Wednesday evening after it was first reported by Sydney radio station 2GB.

The health minister did not provide any further details about how such a plan would work and did not respond to further questions.

You can read the full report from Lane Sainty and Michael McGowan below:




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