Police called to popular beach to disperse Christmas Day revellers as Sydney cluster grows 

Riot police have been forced to break up a massive crowd of Christmas Day revellers partying at a popular Sydney beach.

Extraordinary scenes were captured at Bronte Beach in the city’s east on Friday afternoon, where hundreds of Sydneysiders gathered to celebrate Christmas with friends, despite a coronavirus outbreak which continues to spread across the city.

Footage has emerged showing revellers at Bronte wearing festive Santa hats, dancing closely together and on each others’ shoulders in a large crowd, as the Sydney outbreak grew to 118 confirmed cases. 

No face masks could be seen and social distancing was non-existent. 

Health Minister Brad Hazzard has slammed the group as ‘ignorant’ for potentially spreading the deadly disease.

Hundreds of Christmas revellers gathered at Bronte Beach on Friday for a massive party

Hundreds of Christmas revellers gathered at Bronte Beach on Friday for a massive party

Hundreds of Christmas revellers gathered at Bronte Beach on Friday for a massive party

‘I get the desire for youthful Christmas exuberance, but this is as irresponsible, ignorant and idiotic as it gets,’ he told the Daily Telegraph.

‘It’s a massive potential COVID-19 incubator.’

Social media users have also expressed anger over the footage as many families have been forced apart due to the latest outbreak.

‘Not sure these peeps got the COVID memo,’ a concerned local captioned a video of the disturbing scenes. 

Another added: ‘I’m not the Christmas grinch and I don’t begrudge anyone having a good time after the year we’ve had but am I missing something? How come only 10 people in a household but over 200 people close together at Bronte?’

Police were seen trying to disperse the massive crowd and ordering revellers to move along in another video posted on Instagram. 

NSW Police confirmed officers were called to Bronte at around 3pm and were assisted by the Public Order and Riot Squad.

Police were called to disperse the large crowd

Police were called to disperse the large crowd

Social distancing was non-existent at the gathering

Social distancing was non-existent at the gathering

Social distancing was non-existent at Bronte as crowds danced closely together 

Revellers were seen packed closely together in a massive crowd and few masks in sight

Revellers were seen packed closely together in a massive crowd and few masks in sight

Revellers were seen packed closely together in a massive crowd and few masks in sight

‘Police were called to disperse a large crowd at the location,’ a spokeswoman told Daily Mail Australia.

Only 10 people are allowed to gather indoors however, up to 100 people can gather outside in Greater Sydney. It is believed there was more than 300 people celebrating together in Bronte. 

Police remained at the scene on Friday night to keep a close eye on a handful of revellers who chose to stay. 

Premier Gladys Berejiklian issued a desperate plea for Sydneysiders to restrict their movements in public over the Christmas long weekend and to avoid the Boxing Day sales on Saturday.

The large gathering at Bronte angered many locals

The large gathering at Bronte angered many locals

Revellers wearing Santa hats sang while dancing closely together

Revellers wearing Santa hats sang while dancing closely together

Hundreds of revellers partied at Bronte Beach until police brought festivities to an abrupt halt

The outbreak now sits at 118 total cases, 108 of which are associated with the Avalon cluster on the northern beaches.

‘We’d prefer it if people did not go to the CBD tomorrow because then you have people from all over Sydney coming to the one location and it only takes one or two cases for it to then spread everywhere else – and we don’t want to see that happen,’ Ms Berejiklian said on Friday.

‘I cannot stress enough how urgent the people to reduce their mobility, not to undertake any activity unless they absolutely have to and please avoid the CBD where you can.

The Northern Beaches was split into two sections at the Narrabeen Bridge, with those in the northern section where the cluster is centred suffering harsher Christmas restrictions than those in the south.

Residents were not allowed to leave or welcome people from outside the area but were allowed five visitors to their homes on 24, 25 and 26 December before lockdown rules banning home visits resume.

Those south of the Narrabeen Bridge cannot leave the Northern Beaches but can welcome 10 visitors into their homes on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day, including people from anywhere in NSW.

The government will decide on Boxing Day if residents south of the Narrabeen Bridge will go back into lockdown on 27 December.

What are the Christmas Covid restrictions for NSW? 

On December 24, 25 and 26, the following conditions will be in place:

For the Northern Beaches peninsula zone (North of Narrabeen Bridge, and east of the Baha’i Temple):

· There is a new reason for leaving home: to visit the home of others who live within this zone.

· Up to 5 visitors (total, including children) will be allowed in homes as long as they reside in the peninsula zone.

· People may not enter or leave this zone, unless for the four approved reasons already in place.

· On December 27, the region will revert to existing restrictions.

For the remainder (southern zone) of the Northern Beaches:

· There is a new reason for leaving home: to visit the home of others who live within this zone.

· Up to 10 visitors (plus primary school children and younger) will be allowed in homes. This may include people from outside this zone, not including the Northern Beaches peninsula zone.

· People who reside outside the northern beaches are allowed to visit others in this zone.

· Residents of this zone may not leave, unless for the four approved reasons already in place.

· We will reassess restrictions in this zone following Boxing Day.

For the Greater Sydney region, Central Coast, Wollongong and Nepean Blue Mountains:

· Current restrictions that were due to expire at midnight tonight will remain in place.

· However, primary school aged children and younger will be allowed on top of the current 10 visitors cap for homes.

· On December 27, the region will revert to existing restrictions.

Restrictions for Regional NSW remain unchanged.

In addition, as of 1 January 2021, hospitality venues and hairdressers will be required to use the NSW Government QR code system.

Decisions on New Year’s Eve and upcoming sporting events will be made after this Christmas period.  

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