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Australia live news: Christmas Day celebrations begin as Sydney Covid cluster puts NSW on knife-edge











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Hello and welcome

Good morning everyone and welcome to our Covid – and other – coverage for Christmas Day, which I’ll be bringing to you from Melbourne. Happy Christmas to those who celebrate it, and happy Friday to everyone else.

To recap the latest news from around the country;

We were so close to an almost Covid-free Christmas in Australia until the northern beaches cluster broke out in Sydney, which goes to show how quickly this virus can spread. I know the outbreak will have changed holiday plans and family celebrations for many readers, and my thoughts are with those unable to be with those they love, those in quarantine, and those isolating or in lockdown.

There will also be many people who lost loved ones this year, especially in Victoria, for whom special occasions may be especially tough, so my thoughts are with all of you too.

If you’d like to share with me how your Christmas plans have changed due to Covid and what you’re doing to make the most of it, email me at melissa.davey@theguardian.com or tweet me @MelissaLDavey, I’ll include some of your stories and photos in this blog. That includes those of you who are loving spending Christmas alone and who are having a quieter day of it this year – I know not everyone who spends the day alone dislikes it! So share your fabulous solo plans with me too and in the comments thread in this article, whether you celebrate Christmas or not.

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