'Tinpot' anti-vaxxer attacks Vic nurses

·3-min read

Anti-vaxxers have been told to keep their "tinpot theories" to themselves after a protester threatened staff at a Melbourne hub administering the jab.

Health Minister Martin Foley revealed that an anti-vaxxer barged into a mass COVID-19 vaccination centre at Cranbourne in the city's outer southeast on Friday morning.

The protester started making "threatening remarks" to nursing staff and police were called to the incident, he said.

With heightened confusion surrounding the vaccine rollout this week, Mr Foley noted there had been increased reports of verbal abuse, racist remarks and spitting toward healthcare and call centre staff.

He vowed the brigade of "anti-science, anti-evidence, dangerous fanatics" would be held to account for their totally unacceptable behaviour.

"You aren't allowed to come in and abuse our nurses and our healthcare professionals," Mr Foley told reporters on Friday.

"If you want to have your tinpot theories, fine, but keep them to yourself and keep them out of our healthcare services."

AAP has contacted Victoria Police for comment.

The incident has prompted authorities to hire more security staff for the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre mass vaccination hub and to erect banners at sites warning that aggressive people will be given marching orders.

"This is about making sure that our state vaccination centres are places where people who want to do the right thing and get us a ticket out of the pandemic are safe," Mr Foley said.

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton is adamant the vast majority of Australians disregard anti-vaccination misinformation and still intend to get the jab.

"Anti-vaxxers will remain on the margins," he said.

Almost 19,500 vaccine doses were administered at Victorian-run sites in the 24 hours to midnight on Thursday.

Victoria had its second day in a row without a local COVID-19 case, following more than 24,700 tests, and also reported three cases in hotel quarantine.

The encouraging figures came before Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a decision to halve international arrivals to Australia under a four-phase reopening strategy.

The policy, agreed to in Friday's national cabinet meeting, will lower Victoria's weekly intake of overseas travellers in hotel quarantine from 1000 to 500, starting from July 14.

Premier Daniel Andrews had earlier announced Victoria's own four-point plan to keep Australia safe and avoid future lockdowns.

"It would seem like national cabinet pretty much endorsed the premier's strategy," Mr Foley said.

A breach in South Australian hotel quarantine sparked Victoria's fourth lockdown in late May and cost the state economy $1.5 billion.

Figures released on Friday show about half of 122,000 applications for state government grants to compensate businesses for the latest shutdown are yet to be paid.

"I would urge those businesses to be patient. If you're entitled to it, you'll get it" Mr Foley said.

Meanwhile, Victorians have been left confused by NSW local government areas within the cross-border community becoming orange zones from 6am on Friday under the southern state's permits system.

The change does not restrict free movement in the border bubble for residents, as long as they have not travelled north into other orange or red zones in NSW and carry photo ID.

Professor Sutton clarified that non-border Victorians venturing into the bubble are not subject to the rule change.

That is despite some cutting their holidays short to beat the deadline including Frank and his family who were staying at a Moama caravan park

"At five o'clock this morning we were in the car driving across the border," he told Melbourne radio station 3AW on Friday.

Hundreds of police are continuing to monitor the Victorian-NSW border, stopping 2100 people in vehicles and on public transport on Thursday.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting