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‘Yelling, screaming, threatening us’: Nurses ‘abused’ at Victorian vaccination facilities

“The occupational violence and aggression that we’ve been experiencing is really because there’s been a disconnect between trying to meet the expectations of the public.

“Nobody expects to come to work and experience violence and aggression.”

“Nobody expects to come to work and experience violence and aggression,” says nurse unit manager at the Showgrounds Vaccination Hub Alison Lamb.

“Nobody expects to come to work and experience violence and aggression,” says nurse unit manager at the Showgrounds Vaccination Hub Alison Lamb.Credit:Jason South

She said people often hold the expectation that they get to choose which vaccines that they’ll be receiving when medical staff are restricted by the department’s guidelines.

“Try and understand that we’re doing the best that we can,” she said.

“There’s a lot of hurdles that we deal with on a day-to-day basis, that is not widely known to the public.”

Victoria recorded no new locally acquired coronavirus cases in the 24 hours to midnight on Thursday. The state recorded three new coronavirus cases in hotel quarantine.

More than 24,700 COVID-19 test results were processed in the past 24 hours, and nearly 19,500 people received vaccine doses.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews will take his plan to slash overseas arrivals to national cabinet on Friday morning.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews will take his plan to slash overseas arrivals to national cabinet on Friday morning. Credit:Getty

Mr Foley said more than 49,000 people in the state became fully vaccinated against COVID-19 this week, and 50,000 Victorians were booked in next week to receive their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

Meanwhile, national cabinet on Friday resolved to halve the number of people arriving in Australia.

That followed a strong push from some state leaders, including Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews.

He said it would be “desperately sad” to have to reject some Australians trying to come home for compassionate reasons, but if they did come home, a coronavirus outbreak was much more likely, as were lockdowns.

“The greatest good for the greatest number, and that’s exactly what we’ll do,” Mr Andrews said.

Travel changes for Victorians entering from NSW

There are no longer any “green zones” left in NSW, after Victorian authorities at 6am on Thursday made all those remaining orange under the state’s traffic light travel system.

This means Melburnians and regional Victorians who aren’t from a border community won’t be able to re-enter Victoria from the NSW side of the border unless they obtain a permit, agree to isolate upon arrival and get a COVID-19 test within 72 hours.

Previously, Melburnians were able to travel freely to and from the NSW side of the border (for example, to Albury) but not any further into NSW due to the state’s COVID-19 outbreak.

The Department of Health says it made this change “out of an abundance of caution”.

Mr Foley said 50 members of the Australian Defence Force have been enlisted to help with the state’s COVID-19 home visit program.

The ADF will assist authorised officers checking in on people isolating in Victoria.

Some will be isolating because they’ve returned from a designated “red zone” interstate, which dictates that residents have to quarantine for 14 days upon their arrival in Victoria.

Mr Foley said officers yesterday conducted 160 household checks in Victoria and the majority of those isolating were doing the right thing.

“These ADF members are specially trained to conduct these household visits,” Mr Foley said.

“More visits give us more confidence that everyone who is staying home is doing the right thing by themself, and the community.”

Officers in the state’s border patrol operation with NSW stopped and checked 2100 people yesterday, Mr Foley said. That was in addition to the 2000 people stopped at the border on Wednesday.

Businesses still waiting for support

More than 53,000 Victorian businesses are still waiting for lockdown support payments, a month after a state government assistance scheme went live.

The assistance fund was set up to help small businesses and local venues after Victoria’s latest lockdown.

Nearly 123,000 small businesses and venues applied for the grants. The Business Victoria website received 10,000 hits a minute after the grants went live and businesses had three weeks to apply.

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As of Thursday, more than 63,000 businesses were yet to receive a payment from the scheme, but that number fell to more than 53,000 on Friday after 10,000 payments went through overnight.

A Victorian government spokesman said direct economic support for businesses had topped $6 billion over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The government has so far delivered more than $278 million in grants to 59,000 small and medium-sized businesses and sole traders through the latest round of business support programs,” the spokesman said.

He said the Jobs, Precincts and Regions Department aimed to let businesses know the outcome of their grant applications within 10 business days, but if it took longer than that, an email update was sent.

With Michael Fowler, Paul Sakkal

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