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ATAGI is anticipated to deliver its verdict on the definition of “fully vaccinated” today, as premiers and the Federal Government remain at odds over entry requirements for tourists.

But Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews has indicated he could seek to impose restrictions on visitors who have not had a booster shot – currently available only in a minority of countries.

The debate over entry requirements for overseas visitors to Australia is heating up. (Nine)

It has also been reported that Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk could join him, despite having previously called for more support for the state’s struggling tourism industry.

Cairns boat trip operator Perry Jones said the reports had left him “nearly in tears”.

He told Today he supported booster shots but that making them mandatory would mean “death” for tourism.

“We’ve got to start living with it. Let’s be adults now, understand that we’ve got to live with this like we live in the flu and live with the cold and stuff like,” he said.

Tourism operators have warned of the consequences. (Supplied)

But the head of the Queensland AMA has issued a cautious backing to the idea of only letting in triple-vaccinated tourists. 

Dr Chris Perry said while such a move seemed “unnecessary” at this point, it could be “a smart move into the future”. 

“We are probably going to see other variants come,” he said. 

“And if we have bad ones coming in the future, we will need the vaccines to be updated.” 

Coles Eastgardens

How Australia faced the emergence of the Omicron variant

Meanwhile, New South Wales Premier Dominic Perrottet has stayed tight-lipped on whether he would join his Victorian counterpart in demanding a three-dose vaccine mandate for tourists.

Mr Perrottet told Today he would await advice from ATAGI and would advocate for “national consistency”.

“There’s been a lot of discussion around it and, if that is the advice from ATAGI, then obviously from a NSW perspective, we’ll be applying that here in our state,” Mr Perrottet said.

“My understanding is from what the Prime Minister said yesterday is that the requirements in relation to overseas travellers coming into Australia, that it would be the two-dose vaccination that would be required.”

Mr Perrottet also pointed out the advice National Cabinet was anticipating from ATAGI would relate to the definition of “fully vaccinated” in Australia – not to visitors.

“That is a different situation for those people coming from overseas in circumstances where they have different procedures and rules in place for their country,” he said.

At a later press conference this morning, he gave a stronger indication that NSW might still allow double-vaccinated travellers in regardless of the ATAGI advice for Australians.

He said Australia had to rejoin the world “in a sensible, measured way”.

“We cannot live here in a hermit kingdom on the other side of the world,” he said.

Source: 9News

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