PM says he talked to Daniel Andrews about federal government assistance for those impacted by hard border closure caused by Covid.
Hotspot list for NSW; Hotspot list for Victoria.
Covid constraints state by state by state
Follow the Covid liveblog for Australia
Download the Guardian Free Software
Because of the New Year’s Day closure, Scott Morrison has signaled that the federal government will help more than 2,000 Victorians trapped in New South Wales.
“The Australian premier announced that he had spoken with Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews on Monday night in interviews with 3AW and 2GB on Tuesday about developing a “better way home” for individuals who could not return home before the hard border closure was enforced on New Year’s Day. Morrison said that by recognizing covid-free areas in NSW, the Commonwealth respected states’ rights to set health policy, including border controls, but would help make them “as painless as possible” Coronavirus Australia live news: Victoria reports three new covid cases as contacts are struggling to contain NSW outbreaksContinue readingThe conciliatory stance of the premier contrasted with that of Darren Chester, a senior Victorian in the federal cabinet, who accused the Andrews government of “rushing” to close the border, which was “unfair” because parts of NSW had previously been declared a green border. Victoria’s acting Premier, Jacinta Allan, said on Monday that more than 2,200 individuals had applied for a return to state exemption, of which 175 had been processed so far. Morrison noted on Monday night in his phone call with Andrews that sewage tests had shown no sign of Covid outside the metropolitan area of Sydney and other hotspots. As for rural and regional Victoria and Greater Melbourne, the same is generally true for all rural and regional NSW.
I’m willing to speak to the Victorian Premier and do what I can to help him to see if Victorians can find a better way home.” The Premier added that he understood Chester’s “frustration” with Victorian border policy and that as both the NSW and Victorian governments were successfully tackling new coronavirus outbreaks, it would be “nice to see these things shift in the other direction soon. There is a great deal of work that gets done. In both interviews, Morrison downplayed the possibility of a federal election in 2021, but did not rule it out. Morrison said he had talked to the NSW government and believed it had taken “sensitive decisions based on medical advice” and it was “great” that the Sydney trial could take place.
Morrison told 3AW that there was no improvement in his opinion…