Australia Covid: Sydney Christmas beach party sparks ‘backpacker’ deportation threat
Melbourne, Australia (CNN) — Australia’s Minister of Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs has threatened to cancel the visas of any visitors caught breaking rules designed to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in the country, after hundreds of people attended a beach party in Sydney’s Bronte Beach on Christmas Day.
Local journalist Peter Hannam, who walked by the event at 5 p.m., said a number of people in attendance were talking loudly in British accents.
“These are the same people who would every summer gather at Bondi Beach or Bronte or somewhere else because they want to show off to their northern hemisphere friends that it’s Christmas and we’re in summer,” he said.
Authorities were eventually forced to break up the event, with the state’s riot police deployed to assist in removing the crowd.
One person, a 25-year-old man, was issued a court attendance notice for failing to comply with the “move on” direction, police said. “The remainder of the crowd complied and left the area,” police said in a statement.
“Visitors to Australia need to be very clear that if they breach public health orders they are threatening the health and safety of Australians and the federal government will look at their visas,” he said in an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on December 29.