Coronavirus: Daniel Andrews wants travel by Christmas for Victorians, but faces interstate pushback

covid 19 security service
A Santa adjusts his glasses over a face mask as he attends a socially distanced Santa school training at Southwark Cathedral in London. (AP)

Daniel Andrews has revealed the Christmas gift he wants for all Victorians: to be able to leave the state for the festive season.

The premier yesterday declared for the first time his bold ambition for interstate travel by the end of the year, despite still being days away from even revealing his roadmap for Victoria to leave its strict lockdown conditions.
“I think we all want to aim towards a situation where, come Christmas time, come the summer in earnest, we can have that freedom of movement,” Mr Andrews said.
It’s a bold hope for the state currently shut out by the rest of the country and which has struggled to get its second wave of the coronavirus pandemic under control.
Victoria recorded 70 new infections yesterday as cases continue to drop. But it still faces a tall task convincing other states to allow its residents in.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian warned Melbourne-Sydney travel would only be considered if cases were under control and Victoria’s contact tracing was improved.
“As soon as we feel the risk is low or negligible to NSW, we’re keen to re-establish our connections,” she said.
Ms Berejiklian lashed Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk over the continued hard barrier between the states.
“I don’t think the public has appetite, and I certainly don’t have appetite, for any public bickering but I think it’s really important for us to be talking to each other and certainly keeping each other informed,” she said.
Nationally the number of new cases continue to drop, but authorities have warned against complacency, especially as spring brings warmer weather.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Michael Kidd said case numbers had dropped to 771 in the past week, down from 3465 a month ago.
“There is hope on the horizon but we cannot become complacent,” he said.
“I want to acknowledge the sacrifices which have been made and which continue to be made by people across Australia, but especially by the people of Melbourne.”

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