Scott Morrison says the Christmas disruption caused by the Northern Beaches eruption in New South Wales is disappointing, but “miracles happen every day”

NSW Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian confirmed Monday that the state had recorded 15 new cases in the past 24 hours

All cases were locally acquired cases linked to the Avalon cluster, with the total number of outbreak-related cases increasing to 83

The Prime Minister said in the Parliament building in Canberra that he wanted everything to be open by Christmas – but the virus had a different idea

“I understand that it will be disappointing and frustrating because of the glitch you’ve encountered,” said Morrison

“I have no doubt that the Prime Ministers think the same way, but the measures taken are necessary

“We have a very good reason and a very good reason to trust what’s happening in NSW right now

“They really continue to demonstrate their gold standard when it comes to addressing these issues and I am very confident that this will be even more positive in the days to come”

Mr Morrison said outbreaks would continue to occur during the global pandemic, but the geography of the northern beaches also helped contain the spread of the virus

He reminded people who had been in the area at any time in the past fourteen days to isolate themselves – even if they were currently interstate

Hopefully, if NSW authorities continued their activities, things would return to normal COVID as soon as possible, said Morrison

Although some highly anticipated family gatherings will not take place this Christmas, they will “take place in the New Year”

“We’re going to get through this as we did through so many other events,” he said

“Miracles great and small happen every day in Australia, and Christmas is a time to thank those we know”

Morrison also announced that after several months of service, Professor Paul Kelly would be named Chief Medical Officer of Australia

Prof Kelly said while the number of cases in NSW has increased and decreased, the trend is “good”

He encouraged users to open their COVIDSafe apps to aid in contact tracing, and also revealed that Opal transportation card data was being used

If the Avalon cluster continues to shrink like Adelaide’s Parafield cluster, the disruption is likely to have minimal impact on the state’s economy

Eligibility for the government’s JobKeeper program will change in January Companies must demonstrate a decline in sales for the December quarter

With the lockdown potentially affecting the March quarter, Morrison said decisions about extending support measures “will all depend on dates over the next few days”

Pandemic Vacation Disaster Payments were also available to individuals who are getting a coronavirus test and are in isolation

When asked about the findings of the final report on Victoria’s scandalous hotel quarantine system, Morrison said, “Most importantly, we have learned the lessons from what happened”

He was also asked about the future of the two-way travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand but said it was a matter for New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

Scott Morrison

World News – AU – PM on outbreak “disappointing and frustrating”