Canberra: The Australian government announced it will wind back Covid-19 financial support measures on Wednesday when the vaccination rate hit 80 per cent in its battle against the third wave of infections.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced on Wednesday that once a state or territory reaches 70 per cent full inoculation, the automatic renewal of the payment will end, meaning recipients will have to reapply every week to remain eligible, Xinhua news agency reported.
“Once those states and territories reach a double-dose vaccination rate of 80 per cent, the Covid disaster payment will come to an end,” he said, adding that there will be a two-week transition period.
“Today we’re backing Australia’s plan to open up in a Covid-safe way, hoping to bring an end to the lockdowns and enable Australians to get their lives back,” he told reporters.
The current disaster payment is worth 750 Australian dollars ($543.1) per week for people in Covid-affected states and territories who have lost more than 20 hours of work per week and 450 Australian dollars ($325.9) if they lost between eight and 20 hours.
The announcement came when Australia reported more than 1,800 new locally-acquired Covid-19 cases on Wednesday morning.
New South Wales (NSW), Australia’s most populous state with Sydney as the capital city, reported 863 new cases and 15 deaths.
There have been 331 Covid-19 related deaths in NSW since June 16 this year, said the statement from NSW Health.
Victoria, the second-most populous state with Melbourne as the capital city, reported a further 950 new local cases and seven deaths.
The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) recorded 22 new cases, seven of which were infectious while in the community.
According to the latest data released by the Department of Health, 76.7 per cent of Australians aged 16 and older have received at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose and 52.6 per cent are fully vaccinated.