Residents of Sydney’s Northern Beaches continue to flout strict social distancing guidelines with hundreds of people gathering at popular outdoor areas as the country battles a coronavirus pandemic.
Manly Beach was flooded with joggers, cyclists, surfers and sunbathers enjoying the sunny 24C weather on Saturday morning.
Despite repeated calls for Australians to remain at home and maintain a 1.5metre distance from one another, photos obtained by Daily Mail Australia show hundreds of unfazed residents blatantly defying restrictions, gathering at the park, beaches and promenade.
Similar scenes unfolded at Rushcutters Bay, in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, with scores of people getting together at the park, going on walks and playing group sports – all which have been restricted under new measures to help curb the spread of infection.
The shocking footage comes as the country’s death toll rose to 14 on Saturday after a 91-year-old Sydney woman who tested positive for COVID-19 died.
Hundreds of people continue to break social distancing rules by gathering at popular outdoor areas as the country battles a coronavirus pandemic
Scores of unfazed residents were photographed going about their day on Saturday enjoying the 24C weather in Manly, in Sydney’s Northern Beaches
People continue to congregate in large groups despite repeated calls from the government for Australians to ‘do the right thing’ Pictured: People walking along the Manly beach promenade
Restrictions have been placed on restaurants and cafes, banning people from dining in to avoid large gatherings. Despite the new rules, residents seen getting together at outdoor public eating areas near the beach
The shocking footage comes as the country’s death toll rose to 14 on Saturday after a 91-year-old Sydney woman who tested positive for COVID-19 died
Australia’s coronavirus cases continue to skyrocket, but residents continue to defy regulations aimed at reducing the spread of the virus
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Australia has soared to 3,573, with 1,617 in NSW – the country’s worst-hit state.
The majority of COVID-19 infections in the state have been reported to be emerging from Sydney’s eastern suburbs, where hundreds of people were seen gathering at the region’s popular beaches last week.
The state and federal government has since issued multiple calls for Australians to ‘do the right thing’ and adhere to guidelines that could potentially save hundreds of peoples’ lives.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian urged people to be vigilant and sensible, adding no one should leave their homes unless they have to.
The state has also begun handing out infringement notices for those who flout coronavirus public health orders.
People were seen swimming and sunbathing at Manly beach, even after the government was forced to close Bondi Beach last week
The state and federal governments have since issued multiple calls for Australians to ‘do the right thing’ and adhere to guidelines that could potentially save hundreds of peoples’ lives
Scott Morrison earlier this week placed restrictions on outdoor and indoor gatherings, including fitness classes and health clubs
Premier Gladys Berejiklian urged people to be vigilant and sensible, and said no one should leave their homes unless they have to
CORONAVIRUS CASES IN AUSTRALIA: 3,573
New South Wales: 1,617
South Australia: 257
Western Australia: 255
Australian Capital Territory: 62
Northern Territory: 14
TOTAL CASES: 3,573
Meanwhile in Bondi Beach, backpackers were slammed for brazenly defying social distancing rules by hosting parties and social gatherings at their hostels.
NSW Police were forced to shut down a barbecue held at Bondi Backpackers Club on Hall St on Friday night that had been advertised on the hostel’s Facebook page.
In a now-deleted post, the hostel invited guests to its weekly sausage sizzle and happy hour beginning at 6pm.
NSW Police Minister David Elliot told the Sydney Morning Herald the social gatherings taking place at hostels were ‘one of the most irresponsible things I have ever come across’.
Backpackers have also come under fire by outraged residents on social media, with one person who branding them ‘socially irresponsible morons.’
‘Really??? Happy Hour??? A sausage sizzle for all guests?? Have you heard of social distancing? You are a disgrace,’ one person said.
Another commented on the Facebook event saying: ‘The rest of us have been stuck indoors for weeks, working from home and homeschooling kisd, whilst you brainless turds are business as usual.
Similar scenes unfolded in Rushcutters Bay in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, with people gathering at parks and popular outdoor hotspots
The government has banned people from taking part in large group sports that involve lots of physical contact
Australians have been advised to stay at home ‘unless absolutely necessary’. People are allowed to leave their homes for exercise purposes, but have been asked to do so on their own and to maintain a distance from others
‘Wake the f**k up you absolute deadbeats.’
In a statement to Daily Mail Australia, Bondi Beach Backpackers Club said the event was intended to be a takeaway-meal for guests who have been unable to return to their homes overseas.
‘This was an attempt to lift the spirits of the remain people that have been unable to go home. These people are stuck. They were among the first people to lose their jobs. They are unable to get on flights to go home on.
‘We have chosen to remain open for these last few guests, because if we close, these people have no where else to go.
‘We have been following the recommendations made by the government very carefully. We feel a duty of care to these people and do not want them or any members of the public to get sick.’
Earlier this week, an Argentinian backpacker and her 10 friends were reported to have contracted coronavirus after attending a party with hundreds of people on Bondi Beach.
The beach party was held before Scott Morrison banned non-essential services and outdoor gatherings of more than 500 people.
The 24-year-old woman went to Prince Wales Hospital on Monday where she was told that she had tested positive.
Her diagnosis came after several more cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in backpackers in the Bondi area.
‘There were two recent parties that some of the cases attended where the cases may have acquired their infections,’ a spokesman for NSW Health said.
Police were forced to shut down an social gathering at Bondi Beach Backpackers on Hall St on Friday night
In a now-deleted post, the hostel had advertised its weekly sausage sizzle and happy hour beginning at 6pm
The hostel and backpackers came under fire on social media by many who were outraged for the brazen breach of rules
Those two parties were the Boogie Wonderland party at the Bucket List on March 15 and a party at Club 77 on the same date.
Police from Thursday have the power to hand out fines of $1,000 to individuals and $5,000 to businesses that breach public health orders or ministerial directions.
The move comes after Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced tougher restrictions to try and slow the spread of the disease in the Australian community.
People in the firing line include returned travellers who contravene the requirement to self-quarantine for 14 days and those diagnosed with COVID-19 who similarly don’t follow the rules.
Fines will also apply for breaches of the prohibition on outdoor gatherings of 500 people and indoor gatherings of 100 people.
‘The police needed to stand up and say the community have to take this seriously, or more people will be affected and this virus could run on for many, many more months,’ Mr Fuller said.
Police have the power to apply penalties already in place under the Public Health Act, which means people can be jailed for six months and/or issued a fine of up to $11,000 if convicted.
‘No one is above the law. If you decide to ignore a direction, you will be caught, and you may very well find yourself slapped with a hefty fine,’ Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott said in a statement on Thursday.
‘The fact that people are still not complying is the reason why we have police out in full force enforcing these directions.
‘This behaviour is not only reckless and stupid, but potentially deadly.’