Locals and tourists dancing at Bronte Beach on Christmas Day. Picture: Peter Hannam/Twitter
Locals and tourists dancing at Bronte Beach on Christmas Day. Picture: Peter Hannam/Twitter

Sydney tightens lockdown restrictions ahead of New Year

By Shifaan Ryklief Time of article published Dec 30, 2020

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CAPE TOWN – After months of no local cases in the nation’s largest city, Sydney is battling a new outbreak with officials reporting 147 cases on Wednesday.

The re-introduction of restrictions in the city came a week prior to Christmas, which included border closures outside New South Wales (NSW), airline cancellations and a limitation on holiday gatherings.

This, however, did not stop young residents who flocked to Sydney’s Bronte Beach on Christmas Day, with numerous videos and images gone viral on social media.

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“The events of the past few days ... are incredibly frustrating and disappointing for people all around the country who had plans in place to get together and move in between states. 2020 is not done with us yet,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.

NSW state government announced further restrictions for New Year’s Eve following a new cluster, which is believed to have surfaced during the Christmas festivities.

Households will now be restricted to five guests, down from 10, and outdoor gatherings are cut from 50 to 30 people.

Meanwhile, Sydney’s traditional New Year’s Eve fireworks display will continue with authorities having banned gatherings around the harbour.

"In a pandemic, there is a level of volatility, so we'll closely monitor what happens," NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.

"We don't want New Year's Eve to be the cause of a super-spreader,” she said.

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