Despite seven major cities locked down across the country and coronavirus cases threatening to spiral out of control, some Australians are carrying on with life as normal and flouting the rules.
Café owners in Bowral in the New South Wales Southern Highlands were arrested for refusing to wear masks, hairdressers were pictured giving foils on Sydney’s Northern Beaches and dozens were fined for sunbaking at Bondi – all in the past 24 hours.
The Bondi cluster grew to 226 on Friday morning after a worrying 31 new cases were recorded across Sydney.
Meanwhile, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Friday announced Brisbane’s lockdown would be extended by another week after five new cases across the state, while Darwin and Alice Springs also are under stay-at-home-orders.
The four-day snap lockdown for Perth and Peel will end at midnight on Friday after Western Australia recorded one new coronavirus case. The state will remain under tight restrictions.
In Sydney, police handed out fines for a string of offences including failing to wear masks and breaking public orders by leaving home without a valid reason.
Extraordinary images snapped at Bondi Beach’s outdoor gym on Friday showed dozens of locals dressed in activewear working out together.
Under NSW restrictions, people are allowed to exercise in groups of up to ten – and there is no suggestion the fitness fanatics were doing anything wrong.
Under NSW restrictions, people are allowed to exercise in groups of up to ten – and there is no suggestion these fitness fanatics were doing anything wrong
Beachgoers enjoyed the unseasonable weather at Sydney’s Bondi Beach on Friday afternoon
Several shirtless and barefooted men worked out on the small exercise park next to the beach’s surf lifesaving club alongside a woman dressed in pink activewear
Police officers are seen speaking with people sitting on benches on Bondi Beach’s promenade on Friday afternoon
Several shirtless and barefooted men worked out on the small exercise park next to the beach’s surf lifesaving club alongside a woman dressed in pink activewear.
Bizarrely, another woman was seen exercising in nothing but her underwear and a pair of shiny high-heels.
Another couple were pictured embracing while laying on the grass behind the famous beach.
By mid-afternoon the promenade appeared jam packed with people – with nearly all not wearing face masks.
Bizarrely, another woman was seen exercising in nothing but her underwear and a pair of shiny high-heels
Another couple were pictured embracing while laying on the grass behind the famous beach
By mid-afternoon the promenade appeared jam packed with people – with nearly all not wearing face masks
Lisa Wilkinson and fellow Channel Ten stars on Thursday night blasted Sydneysiders for not taking Covid lockdown seriously and refusing to wear face masks.
‘I would say whenever I go to the supermarket there are about 50 per cent wearing masks, the shops themselves last time were really monitoring masks,’ Wilkinson said.
‘I don’t get the sense that they’re doing that if I’m seeing that many people without masks going shopping.’
She said at her local café on Thursday only about a third of people stopping in to get a takeaway coffee were wearing masks.
‘They almost all had activewear on, so they could probably argue, “I’m out exercising”, but it didn’t look very strenuous,’ Wilkinson said.
She said NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian doesn’t seem to be getting the message across when it comes to the seriousness of the stay-at-home orders and the dangers posed by the deadly virus.
‘We still feel like this is the lockdown you have when you’re not really having a lockdown,’ she said.
Meanwhile, a defiant hair salon on Sydney’s Northern Beaches was spotted breaking lockdown rules on Thursday.
Lisa Wilkinson and fellow Channel Ten stars slammed Sydneysiders for not taking Covid lockdown seriously. Pictured: A large group of people are pictured during lockdown in Bondi
Two young women are pictured exiting the water after a dip at the world famous Bondi Beach on Friday afternoon
ISM Hairdressing at Dee Why were open for business – after being closed from Monday through to Wednesday – following confirmation of the lockdown from NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian last weekend.
On Thursday night, a client was spotted in the salon chair with foils in her hair – and not wearing a face mask.
When quizzed as to why they were ignoring imposed rules from the NSW government during the two-week lockdown, ISM salon worker Sharon Carr said they were ‘totally confused.’
People across New South Wales and Queensland have been spotted failing to wear masks in shops and populated areas across the eastern states. It is not mandatory to wear them outdoors
‘We were open on Thursday as we are an essential service.. I had a look at a government website and we fall under that category,’ Ms Carr told Daily Mail Australia.
‘The last lockdown we were open…online it says hairdressing salons were recommended to close, it isn’t mandatory.
‘We are a small salon and if we socially distance from our customers we should be able to trade. We are totally confused by the rules, we look to follow what is outlined on government websites.’
The salon worker went onto said they would ‘close in a minute’ if they have committed a safety breach.
‘We have been to the (Dee Why) police station to double check and they requested we ring the Covid hotline,’ Ms Carr added. ‘We couldn’t get through to them.’
Life is a beach in Bondi as people, walk, swim, sunbake and relax during lockdown
Two beachgoers are seen peering to the north of Bondi Beach on Friday afternoon
The Bondi to Coogee coastal walk has been packed with locals exercising after the state government introduced stay-at-home-orders for all of Greater Sydney
People exercise on the boardwalk at Bondi Beach in Sydney on Sunday with the city in lockdown
The NSW Health website states hairdressers are not an essential service and must stay closed during Greater Sydney’s two-week lockdown.
Earlier this week, the owner of Auburn’s Golden Cuts in Sydney’s west was fined $5000 for breaching a public health order.
It is understood NSW Police were tipped off by a member of the public that the hairdresser was continuing to operate as normal, despite Greater Sydney being in a hard lockdown.
The same lockdown rules apply for the likes of gyms, pubs and caravan parks, which have remained closed.
In separate incidents, two barbers have each been issued a $1000 fine after continuing to operate in breach of the Public Health Order.
A client was spotted in the salon chair on Thursday night, not wearing a face mask – hairdressing is not considered an essential service according to the NSW Health website
ISM Hairdressing, at Dee Why on Sydney’s northern beaches, was spotted trading on Thursday night – during lockdown
Leaving City Limits
A travel company was slapped with a $5000 fine after taking three busloads of people from Covid-addled Sydney to a zoo in regional New South Wales.
The tour group arrived at Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo, which is located five hours north-west of the city, with 128 staff and guests at about 9.30am on Monday.
About 76 of those people were not allowed to leave the Greater Sydney Region under lockdown restrictions announced on Saturday to curb the latest Covid outbreak, which grew by 19 on Tuesday.
Under the restrictions, anyone who has been in Sydney over the past 14 days is only allowed to leave home to buy groceries, seek medical care, go to work, or exercise outside.
Management at the zoo in Dubbo (pictured) did not let the group off the bus and called police
The NSW Government website specifically states that taking a holiday ‘is not a reasonable excuse’ to leave the local area.
The group left Sydney on Friday to travel around regional NSW, the day before lockdown rules were enforced.
The company owner told police he was aware that public health orders changed on Saturday, but decided to continue to tour as planned.
Staff at the zoo refused to allow the travellers off the buses and called police.
On its website, Taronga Western Plains Zoo states that anyone who visited the Greater Sydney region after June 21 will not be allowed to enter the facility.
Meanwhile on Thursday afternoon, the owners of an organic grocery store in Bowral were arrested in a violent clash with police over their refusal to allow mask use inside their store for ‘hygiene reasons’.
Video of the confrontation showed the female owner being bundled into the back of a police van by two police officers.
When the male owner stepped in to object to her arrest, he was grabbed by officers, slammed into the back of the van and then wrestled to the ground.
On the store’s Instagram page, which contains a number of anti-mask posts and others questioning Covid-19 vaccines, the owners explained the strife had begun inside the store when police were called about the shop’s opposition to mask use – stated on a sign outside.
‘For over 1.5 hours the police discussed this with owners,’ the post said.
‘A customer and a friend decided to film the discussion – that’s when it all kicked off. They refused to allow the filming and forcibly tried to remove her from the store.’
The owners accused an officer of putting her hands behind her back and pushing her from the store.
The video showed the male shopkeeper approaching officers as they tried to put the female owner into the police van, and he asked ‘what has she done?’ as the officers warned him to ‘walk away’.
After the woman was pushed inside the van, the owner was immediately grabbed by an officer, to which he shouted ‘don’t touch me’ as the woman filming can be heard calling out ‘Mark, Mark!’.
One of the store’s owners (pictured, left and right) is seen in a clash with police as they tried to arrest him in Bowral, after being alerted by the public that the shop had banned mask-wearers
The Organic Store in Bowral are very open about their anti-Covid views, with a chalkboard outside the shop banning customers who have recently had vaccines or are wearing a mask – which is mandatory in New South Wales
Officers then pushed the owner against the back of the van with enough force to knock the cap from his head, and pushed a hand into his face.
One officer warned him to ‘stop resisting, you’re under arrest’ and he replied ‘what about this fat bloke’ in reference to another officer.
The man, who was being held by two officers, was then tripped by a third and pushed face first to the footpath.
In total, 75 infringement notices were issued on Thursday under the Public Health Act. Of those 46 were $200 infringements for failing to wear a mask.
NSW Police told Daily Mail Australia many more were issued on Friday.