Dozens of Christmas Day revellers have braved the cold temperatures to celebrate at Bondi Beach.
A handful of people were spotted at the iconic beach on Friday, unfazed about the cooler temperatures, threat of rain or a growing coronavirus cluster that has spread to a popular venue nearby.
And while the sand is usually packed with far more groups of families and friends for the holiday, there was no shortage of Christmas spirit on display this year.
Beachgoers donned festive outfits, including Santa hats, rashies and skimpy swimwear for the occassion.
The miserable weather couldn’t dampen the spirits of dozens of Christmas Day revellers who flocked to Bondi to spread some festive cheer
Not even the overcast conditions could dampen the Christmas cheer at Bondi Beach on Friday. Pictured are happy beachgoers posing for a photo
These ladies opted for a quiet Christmas Day relaxing on the sand at Bondi Beach
Over in Manly, only a handful of beachgoers ventured outdoors on Christmas Day for their daily dose of exercise, one of the four reasons residents can leave home for
A group of friends sit on the edge of Bondi Beach with a public health digital display in the background on December 25,
There were far different scenes on Sydney’s northern beaches, where residents in lockdown abided the rules and celebrated Christmas at home.
Only a handful beachgoers were spotted at Manly Beach while there was barely a soul in sight in the nearby Corso.
While coronavirus restrictions were relaxed over the three day Christmas period to allow festive gathering, northern beaches residents are still banned from leaving the peninsula and can only leave their home for four essential reasons.
Back in Bondi, celebrations were trouble-free with beachgoers were on their best behaviour, unlike the hundreds of revellers who partied at nearby Bronte, where the large crowd had to be dispersed by the police riot squad.
Bondi lifesavers erected and decorated a Christmas tree to add to the festive atmosphere as they posed with beachgoers, while a strong police presence kept a close eye on festivities to ensure celebrations didn’t get out of control.
While some surfers and swimmers were keen to hit the waves, many other beachgoers were happy to stay dry on the sand to play ball games and mingle with friends and loved ones as Sydney reached a top of 22C.
Police officers watch a group of people gathering in a large number breaching public health orders beside Bondi Beach on December 25
With 270,000 northern beaches residents in lockdown, The Corso at Manly was deserted on Christmas Day as residents continue to obey public health orders
A lone beachgoer walks along Manly foreshore on Friday as the northen beaches coronavirus cluster continues to grow
A couple cuddle up together to get warm at Bondi Beach, where the temperature reached a top of 22C on Christmas Day
These ladies braved the cooler temperatures to enjoy a Christmas Day dip at Bondi
While some Bondi beachgoers were keen to get wet, others preferred to stay dry
There was plenty of festive spirit on display at Bondi, despite the weather. Pictured is a woman wearing a Christmas head accessory taking a selfie with a male friend
There were no queues to get tested at the drive-thru clinic which has been inundated with record number of Sydneysiders in recent days.
Bondi Icebergs was closed for deep cleaning after NSW Health issued an urgent public health alert due an infected case who visited the ritzy venue last Sunday.
Anyone who visited the pool deck floor of the venue on December 20 between 8am to 9:30am was ordered to get tested and isolate until they are given the all clear.
A sign outside the venue states it will reopen on Saturday in time for boxing Day festivities
Crowds flocked to the iconic beach on Friday, unfazed about the cooler temperatures,
A woman dressed in a red top, white skirt and Santa hat plays with a beach volley ball on Christmas Day
Beachgoers suffered through chilly temperatures on Friday but they still made the most
The overcast conditions will linger around on Saturday, where Sydney is forecast to reach of 25C before warming up to 29C on Sunday.
Elsewhere in Sydney, the Bill Crews Foundation put on a free Christmas lunch with all the trimmings for the homeless and families struggling to put food on the table in Ashfield in Sydney’s inner-west.
New South Wales recorded seven new locally-acquired cases on Friday after almost 70,000 people got tested for the disease on Thursday.
Four are linked to the Avalon cluster, two cases are household contacts of a previous case, whose source of infection is still under investigation, and one further case is under investigation.
Not even the threat of rain could keep these swimmers out of the water at Bondi
These healthcare workers spent Christmas Day working at the Bondi drive-through testing clinic, as the Sydney outbreak continues to grow
A surfer donning a Santa hat takes on waves at Bondi Beach on Christmas Day
Santa hats and reindeer antler accessories ensured there was no shortage of Christmas spirit at Bondi on Friday, despite the dreary weather
The outbreak now sits at 118 total cases, 108 of which are associated with the Avalon cluster.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian is still concerned about potential spread through the CBD’ and urged Sydneysiders to cancel their Boxing Day shopping plans in the city on Saturday.
‘We ask everybody to limit any activity in the CBD and having said that, we know tomorrow is traditionally Boxing Day sales,’ Ms Berejiklian said.
‘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.
‘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.
‘If you must go to the CBD and you must go shopping, make sure you’re wearing a mask and a socially distancing.
A strong police presence ensured Bondi beachogers were on the best behaviour
This beachgoer took part in impromptu game of beach volleyball at Bondi
Bondi Icebergs (pictured) will reopen on Saturday after the venue underwent deep cleaning
The Bondi lifeguards working on Christmas Day were in high spirits as they posed for photos
Milena Ussa of Colombia, right, takes a photo of her friend Fernanda Gonzalez of Mexico with the Christmas tree at Bondi Ceach
NSW RESTRICTIONS FOR DECEMBER 24-26
NORTHERN BEACHES PENINSULA ZONE (NORTH OF NARRABEEN BRIDGE AND EAST OF BAHA’I TEMPLE):
* Visits to other homes allowed within the zone
* Up to five visitors allowed, including children, as long as they live in the same zone
* People cannot enter or leave the zone, unless for four reasons already in place
* On December 27 the region will revert to existing restrictions
NORTHERN BEACHES ZONE SOUTH OF NARRABEEN BRIDGE:
* Visits allowed to other homes within the zone
* Up to 10 visitors allowed, plus children 12 and under. Can include people from outside the zone excluding the northern beaches peninsula
* People who live outside the northern beaches can visit
* Residents cannot leave the zone, unless for four reasons already in place
* Restrictions to be reassessed after Boxing Day
GREATER SYDNEY, THE CENTRAL COAST, WOLLONGONG AND NEPEAN BLUE MOUNTIANS:
* Current restrictions due to expire at midnight on Wednesday will remain in place
* Children 12 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
SOURCE: AUSTRALIAN ASSOCIATED PRESS
What pandemic? Riot police is called in to break up hundreds of revellers dressed in Santa hats at an epic Christmas Day beach party despite calls to avoid large gatherings – as Sydney’s COVID-19 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.
Hundreds of Christmas revellers gathered at Bronte Beach on Friday for a massive party
‘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 are 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 a large crowd at the location,’ a spokeswoman told Daily Mail Australia.
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
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.