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Victoria records 18 COVID-19 deaths and 6,879 new cases

This week, Victorians are adjusting to life with almost no COVID restrictions. (ABC News: Peter Drought)

Victoria has recorded 18 more COVID-19 deaths and 6,879 new cases.

The number of people in hospital has dropped to 255, down from 283 recorded yesterday.

There are 41 patients in intensive care units, five of whom are on ventilators.

There are 40,822 active cases of COVID-19 in Victoria.

Among Victorians aged 18 and above, 59 per cent have received three doses of the vaccine.

Under changes to COVID isolation payments of $450 announced yesterday, today is that last day that someone taking a PCR test will be able to claim the funds.

The payment was introduced in 2020 to support people who had to isolate while waiting for their test result, but the Victorian government said the use of rapid antigen tests meant the measure was no longer necessary.

Over the course of the pandemic, $545 million has been paid out under the scheme.

More support needed to revive Melbourne CBD, opposition says

The Victorian opposition has called for the state government to do more to encourage people back to Melbourne's CBD.

Yesterday, pedestrian data from the City of Melbourne showed increases in the amount of foot traffic in popular spots like Flinders Street Station and Bourke Street Mall, but hospitality business owners said numbers were still low.

The recommendation for people to work from home was scrapped at the end of last week.

The opposition has called for incentives such as free public transport and parking to help entice workers and shoppers back into the city.

Shadow Minister for Small Business and CBD Recovery, David Southwick, said measures to encourage people to change their behaviour could be effective.

"To encourage that, we need a game changer and the game changer needs to be things like free public transport and parking, real incentives and some events at the end of the day to encourage people back into the office," he said.

How and when will the COVID pandemic end?