$150 vouchers for CBD diners, new metropolis points of interest to spice up restoration

“Christmas is a time for our local traders to catch up on the most difficult trading time for them,” she said at a press conference on Sunday morning.

“It is important that all of these initiatives are aimed at ensuring that we are creating economic value for our local dealers.

Vaccinated Melburner will be eating out again when the city reopens.Credit:Getty

“[The voucher scheme] was very successful, the data shows that pedestrian traffic has increased three times faster than with previous bounce-backs. “

Cr Capp encouraged Victorians to get their second dose of vaccination so the state could reach its next milestone of 90 percent complete vaccination

At this point, masks would no longer be required in the offices, which Cr Capp said was a huge deterrent for workers returning to the city.

Tourism and Major Events Minister Martin Pakula said the return of theatrical shows like Frozen and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child would “charge” the city’s return after lockdown six and there was “great cause for optimism”.

Much of the state’s ambulance capacity hits “Code Orange”

The Victorian Ambulance Union has warned the heavy burden of paramedics will continue after a near-code red emergency was declared Saturday night due to hospital ramps and high caseloads.

A health department warning seen by The Age said Ambulance Victoria expected “significant normal business impact” on Saturday, with the possibility of a “code red” situation.

“They have exhausted their ability to meet demand,” the State Emergency Management Center said in a statement.

While a “Code Red” was not called overnight, much of Victoria was considered a “Code Orange”, with paramedics being severely burdened due to additional coronavirus cases.

A “red code” was proclaimed during the thunderstorm asthma crisis in 2016; a similar situation occurred in December last year after a flood of acute calls for help.

Danny Hill, secretary of the Victorian Ambulance Union, said the state will put much more strain on the system with high COVID-19 case numbers and the cumulative impact of health care shifts during the pandemic.

“There will be more Code Orange” and possibly “Code Red” … the employees are just burned out, tired and exhausted, ”he said.

Victorian Ambulance Union Secretary Danny Hill.Credit:Simon O’Dwyer

“It’s a perfect storm as there aren’t enough crews available to respond to the upcoming workload.

“We have to see that people come back to their family doctor regularly. Get your health under control and hopefully don’t get into a situation where you call Triple Zero at 2 a.m. “

Mr Andrews said there was “incredible demand” on the healthcare system and urged people not to call Triple Zero unless it was an emergency.

“Right now there is a bit of pressure in the system that will wear off over time … when we see the COVID demand subside.”

1173 new cases

The announcement came as Victoria recorded 1,173 new coronavirus cases and nine deaths on Sunday morning.

The Victoria Department of Health said over 83 percent of eligible Victorians are now fully vaccinated, with Australia hitting the vaccination milestone of 80 percent of those 16 and over with double vaccination yesterday.

There are currently 568 people in hospitals across the country, 96 of them in intensive care and 63 on ventilators.

More than 56,600 test results were returned on Saturday, with 13,913 vaccine doses being administered at state centers.

Victoria now has 16,413 active cases of the virus. The median age of Australians in an intensive care unit (ICU) due to COVID-19 has dropped significantly, with the median age now being 53 years.

During the first wave of infections in early 2020, the average age was 64 years.

“We think that’s probably a reflection of Delta,” said Aidan Burrell, an intensive care doctor at Alfred Hospital in Melbourne. “Delta affects the younger people who generally have fewer comorbidities.”

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Mr Twomey added, “It will probably be until 2023 before we reach some sort of permanent vaccination program,” which would include an annual booster vaccination for the population, like the flu vaccination has become annually.

“In time, we will treat COVID like many other viruses that have been around for decades, and a COVID-19 vaccination will be just another element of the Australian vaccination program.”

With James Massola, Aisha Dow