News, Culture & Society

Building continues on Big Brother VIP’s new house – despite Sydney’s construction ban

Building work has continued on the new Big Brother house in Sydney Olympic Park despite all construction being brought to a halt during the city’s Covid-19 lockdown. 

Photos taken on Tuesday show a small team of workers preparing the self-contained complex for the arrival of several celebrity housemates in the coming weeks.

Daily Mail Australia understands the producers of Big Brother VIP secured an exemption to continue building work despite the lockdown. 

However, the photos will be a slap in the face to Sydney tradies after NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian ordered all construction to pause from Monday until July 30 to limit the spread of coronavirus.

Special privileges? Building work has continued on the new Big Brother house in Sydney Olympic Park despite all construction being brought to a halt during the city’s Covid lockdown

In the images obtained by Daily Mail Australia, workers were seen carrying sheets of wood and working on the house’s rooftop at the new location in Homebush.

While the majority wore face masks, others had them halfway down their face as they spoke to workmates – despite lockdown rules stating they must be worn while working outdoors.

Daily Mail Australia has contacted Seven and Endemol Shine for further comment.

It’s understood that filming was originally scheduled to begin filming next month, however due to Sydney’s latest pandemic a September date has been set.

Prior to the new rules which came into play as 12:01am on Monday, Channel Seven previously confirmed that construction was underway in a Covid-safe manner.

Rules: While the majority wore face masks, others had them only halfway down their face as they spoke to their workmates - despite lockdown rules saying they must be worn while working outdoors

Rules: While the majority wore face masks, others had them only halfway down their face as they spoke to their workmates – despite lockdown rules saying they must be worn while working outdoors

Work: On Tuesday, pictures obtained by Daily Mail Australia show a small team of workers transforming an area in Sydney's Olympic Park into a self-contained complex ready for the housemate's arrival later this year

Work: On Tuesday, pictures obtained by Daily Mail Australia show a small team of workers transforming an area in Sydney’s Olympic Park into a self-contained complex ready for the housemate’s arrival later this year

The new Big Brother house has been approved by the local council, and will offer its VIP residents a different feel compared to the previous two seasons on Seven.

The Manly complex that housed contestants during the 2020 and 2021 seasons was demolished in January, shortly after filming wrapped late last year.

Seven hired the huge warehouse early last year to film new episodes instead of buying or renting a luxury home.

Producers were forced to find a new location after being served an eviction notice by the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

The eviction notice was issued due to concerns for local wildlife.

It’s not the first time the new series of Big Brother VIP has raised eyebrows this year.

Change: The new Big Brother house has been approved by the local council, and will offer its VIP residents a different feel compared to the previous two seasons on Seven

Change: The new Big Brother house has been approved by the local council, and will offer its VIP residents a different feel compared to the previous two seasons on Seven

Work: In the images, workers were seen carrying sheets of wood and working on the building's rooftop in the new location at Homebush

Work: In the images, workers were seen carrying sheets of wood and working on the building’s rooftop in the new location at Homebush

Coming soon: It's understood that filming was originally scheduled to begin filming next month, however due to Sydney's latest pandemic a September date has been set

Coming soon: It’s understood that filming was originally scheduled to begin filming next month, however due to Sydney’s latest pandemic a September date has been set

New home: Producers were forced to find a new location after being served an eviction notice by the National Parks and Wildlife Service

New home: Producers were forced to find a new location after being served an eviction notice by the National Parks and Wildlife Service

More drama: Earlier this week, British columnist Katie Hopkins arrived Down Under to quarantine for 14 days ahead of the new season which will be hosted by Sonia Kruger (pictured)

More drama: Earlier this week, British columnist Katie Hopkins arrived Down Under to quarantine for 14 days ahead of the new season which will be hosted by Sonia Kruger (pictured) 

Earlier this week, British columnist Katie Hopkins arrived Down Under to quarantine for 14 days ahead of the new season, which will be hosted by Sonia Kruger.

But the Brit was sent packing back to the UK just days after her arrival, after unveiling her plans to deliberately break the by opening her door completely naked and mask-free to workers who deliver her food.

Her actions caused national fury, with many lashing out that she was able to fly over to Australia while many citizens are still stuck overseas.

However, a Home Affairs spokeswoman told news.com.au that Ms Hopkins did not take the place of Australians desperate to return to their home country.

‘These travel exemptions were approved based on support by the NSW Government as they met the critical skills category for inwards travel,’ she said.

‘These travellers did not take the place of returning Australians as their travel was above the hotel quarantine caps.’

Gone: Katie Hopkins was sent packing back to the UK just days after her arrival Down Under, after unveiling her plans to deliberately break the by opening her door completely naked and mask-free to workers who deliver her food

Gone: Katie Hopkins was sent packing back to the UK just days after her arrival Down Under, after unveiling her plans to deliberately break the by opening her door completely naked and mask-free to workers who deliver her food

SYDNEY’S LOCKDOWN: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW UNTIL JULY 30

Those living in Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Shellharbour and Wollongong must abide by the following: 

Masks are mandatory in all indoor settings outside the home, including offices and apartment buildings

Residents can travel only 10km from their homes

– Exercise and gather in groups of two while outside

– Only one member of each household per day allowed to leave the home for essential shopping

– No browsing in supermarkets and retail businesses. Shop only for essential items

– Funerals are capped at 10, weddings are banned

– No car pooling with other households when going out for exercise

There is no curfew but a stay at home order applies, with only four reasons to leave your home 

Schools are closed with at-home learning in place, but no child will be turned away if they need to attend in person

The new rules are in addition to the stay-at-home orders already in place until July 30, which include only leaving the home to:

*shop for essential items (one person only) 

*give care and compassionate reasons (one visitor only) 

*exercise or for work or education that cannot be conducted remotely

People in Fairfield, Liverpool or Canterbury in Sydney’s southwest are advised to stay home, unless:

*shop for essential items (one person only) 

*give care and compassionate reasons (one visitor only) 

*For work unless it is an essential service, such as health workers. Businesses must give employees the option of working from home.

* Any essential employees who are permitted to leave their suburbs for work are subject to the same restrictions previously in place, namely receiving a negative Covid test every three days. 

 The rest of NSW (including regional areas) is subject to the following restrictions:

  • Dance and gym classes are limited to 20 people per class and masks must be worn
  • No more than five visitors (including children) allowed in homes
  • Masks are compulsory in all indoor non-residential settings
  • The four-square-metre rule is back for indoor and outdoor settings and drinking while standing at indoor venues is not allowed
  • Dancing will not be allowed at indoor hospitality venues or nightclubs, but dancing is allowed at weddings for the wedding party (no more than 20 people)

When does the lockdown end?  

  • Stay at home orders apply to Greater Sydney including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour until 11.59pm on Friday, July 30, 2021 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk