IMAGE: The number of people in hospital with COVID-19 has been falling in recent days.(ABC News: Peter Drought)
Victoria has recorded three further COVID-related deaths.
The number of people in hospital after contracting the virus now sits at 361, up from the 358 announced yesterday.
Of those patients, 49 are intensive care units and 11 are receiving ventilation.
The state recorded another 5,611 new COVID-19 cases yesterday.
That total is made up of 1,507 positive PCR tests and 4,104 rapid antigen test results.
It brings the number of officially reported active infections to 45,278, down from 46,703 recorded on Sunday.
About 55 per cent of Victorians aged 18 and above have had a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Melbourne welcomes vaccinated international tourists
Victoria’s peak tourism body says it is not expecting an immediate recovery for the tourism sector despite the return of international visitors today.
International tourists who are vaccinated against COVID-19 are now being welcomed back to Australia without having to go into quarantine.
More than 50 international flights will arrive today, but the chief executive of Victoria’s Tourism Industry Council, Felicia Mariani, said it was not an instant fix.
“It’s not like the borders have come down and we’re allowed to travel outside of Melbourne and everybody ran to regional Victoria. It will take longer for these markets to recover,” she said.
“International does not convert at the same pace or scale that we see domestic tourism so it will be a bit of a slow burn.”
Ms Mariani said tourism operators were hopeful visitors from near neighbours such as New Zealand would return quickly, but tourists from the US and Europe may wait until the northern hemisphere’s summer holidays.
“There’s no feeling we’re just going to have this surge of international visitors back in the next couple of weeks,” she said.
“The projections are it could take anywhere from two to three years for us to get back to the type of international visitation and spend that we were seeing prior to the pandemic.”
Not everybody is delighted about vaccinated international travellers being allowed back into Australia without having to quarantine.
Melbourne man Paul Sor said he had not been able to see his mother in Western Australia for nine months.
Mr Sor said the last time he visited his mother he had to complete two weeks of hotel quarantine in Adelaide and then was told when he landed in Perth that he had to do another two weeks.
“Absolutely gutted that people can come in with two shots, yet I can’t go visit my mum in Western Australia unless I’ve got a booster. The inconsistency is just bizarre,” he said.