Victoria has recorded no new local coronavirus cases for the 13th day in a row and none in hotel quarantine.
There are now three active cases remaining across the state. More than 20,000 tests were completed in the past 24 hours.
The state also recorded no new internationally acquired cases on Thursday.
Victorians are being encouraged to head to hotels, restaurants, pubs, cafes and entertainment venues after a third release of the $200 travel voucher scheme on Friday – the latest round of vouchers aimed at bolstering the city’s ailing hospitality and accommodation sector.
In the first round of the regional travel voucher scheme, Business Victoria was forced to apologise after its website crashed and left tens of thousands of people disappointed. In January, keen travellers snapped up 40,000 regional travel vouchers issued within 30 minutes of their release.
On Friday, the Melbourne version of the scheme will involve 40,000 vouchers available at 10am that are valid for travel in an eight-week window from March 19 to May 16.
How you can get a $200 Melbourne travel voucher
To access the vouchers, visitors must spend $400 or more on accommodation, attractions or experiences and must spend a minimum of two nights in paid accommodation. To apply, visit the travel voucher scheme website after 10am on Friday.
The vouchers, which can be spent on entertainment, aim to kick-start the city’s economy.Credit:Tim Carrafa
Victorians secured a total of 110,000 vouchers valued at $200 each in the first two releases of the regional scheme. The first round of the regional scheme injected an estimated $85 million across the tourism sector, according to a government statement.
In another effort to bolster domestic travel, airline tickets will be sold at half price to 800,000 travellers in a federal bid to help the tourism industry survive the pandemic.
The list includes the Gold Coast, Cairns, the Whitsundays and Mackay region (which includes Proserpine and Hamilton Island) as well as the Sunshine Coast in Queensland.
Alice Springs and the Lasseter region (which includes Uluru) qualify in the Northern Territory, along with Broome in Western Australia and Kangaroo Island in South Australia.
Auckland hotspot to be lifted
Australia’s Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly has determined the Auckland hotspot will be lifted and flights from New Zealand to Australia can resume at 11.59pm on March 11.
All of Auckland, except for Auckland airport for the purposes of travelling only, will become an orange zone under Victoria’s ‘traffic light’ travel permit system.
People entering Victoria from Auckland must apply for an ‘orange zone’ permit.
More to come
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