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AUSTRALIA’s immigration minister has condemned revelers who ignored the rules of the coronavirus and attended a « mass rave » on a Sydney beach.
British backpackers could even be deported after breaking the rules to get around on Jan.. December to attend the party in Bronte Beach.
Some of the partygoers are believed to be UK nationals who traveled to Australia prior to the pandemic and had a 12 month visa there after the country closed its borders.
But Immigration Secretary Alex Hawke warned attendees, telling Sky News, « You must however follow the instructions and if you fail to do so, expect visa cancellation if you have a temporary visa holder. «
He described how he was « shocked » by people who « openly disregarded public health regulations » after at least 300 people attended the beach event.
It sparked outrage in New South Wales, where nearly 150 locally transmitted cases have been recorded in the past 14 days.
The government of the state of New South Wales announced that from Thursday households should only have five guests, instead of the previous 10 people.
Outdoor gatherings have also been reduced from 50 to 30 people as every other state bans people from Sydney from traveling.
This is a high level of contagion for Australia, which has seen lower rates of infection compared to other countries throughout the pandemic.
Three women in east Melbourne have tested positive for the virus, which health officials believe is linked to the cases in New South Wales.
At the end of the two month streak of zero locally acquired cases, the women – two in their forties and one in their seventies – and more than 40 people they had contact with, isolated themselves at home.
Shocking social media posts show hundreds of exposed partygoers glued together in festive Christmas hats.
British backpacker Elisha Palfrey shared a picture of the celebrations with friends who her dad Mike Palfrey said was part of a « bubble ». .
The party reportedly got out of control and more and more people participated before a riot force was used to shut it down.
Most of them moved on peacefully, with the exception of a 25-year-old man who refused to leave, who will be tried in 2021.
New Zealand backpacker Tarik Kent told the Daily Mail that the night owls were « mostly British and Irish ». .
He explained how « music played and people got drunk » then « more people showed up minute by minute ».
Brad Hazzard, New South Wales Secretary of Health, described the behavior as « absolutely appalling » and suggested that it could be a « super-spreader event ». .
« The people of the northern beaches have done their part in keeping not only themselves but the rest of Sydney safe too.
« It is absolutely horrific to see what was clearly a group of people, a large collection of people who did not care about the rest of Sydney.
« If they were in Europe now, most of them would be locked and not even allowed on their doorsteps, » he told the Sydney Morning Herald.
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Australia, Sydney, Alex Hawke, Coronavirus
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