Shocking scenes have emerged of Boxing Day shoppers at Parramatta Westfield in Sydney’s west.
A video posted on Twitter by @nasemallam showed the major shopping centre heaving with shoppers. Although some were seen wearing masks, the majority were not following social distancing requirements.
“This makes me sick to my stomach- we will see the effects of this in a few days at Westmead,” read one response.
“As a Victorian, this is heartbreaking. We stayed home for months, missed out on seeing family & friends while the rest of the country went about enjoying life and looking on us with disdain. NSW couldn’t stay home for one week?! You were even allowed 10 adults over for Xmas!” shared another user.
A resident from Sydney’s locked-down suburb of Avalon (in the Northern Beaches) also shared a photo of an empty main street, writing: “Yet this is avalon on a Sunday afternoon, we are all more than happy to keep the north of the northern beaches closed to this craziness a little longer”.
The shopping centre scenes come as NSW recorded seven local cases of Covid-19 in the 24 hours to Boxing Day, all of which were linked to the Northern Beaches (six as part of the Avalon cluster with the seventh under investigation).
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard had earlier denounced revellers at an impromptu Bronte Beach party on Christmas Day. Hundreds of people gathered at Bronte Beach Park and were seen dancing and drinking in tight circles.
Speaking to media on Saturday, Hazzard this behavior could spark the next “super spreader event”.
“People in the northern beaches have been doing their part, big time, to keep not only themselves but the rest of Sydney safe,” he said.
“Let me tell you, that event, I am hoping will not become a super spreader event. But has every chance that it could be.”
Ironically, in the same press conference both NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and NSW’s Chief Medical Officer Kerry Chant thanked residents for following not going into the CBD amid concerns of a next cluster.
“Obviously the number of people was substantially reduced and we’re deeply grateful,” said Berejiklian.
“We know today the strategy we have in place is working and I want to really thank everybody for trying so hard and working so hard during what is often a time when we are all coming together.”
More shocking photos emerge of Sydney Boxing Day sales
Following packed photos of Sydney’s Parramatta Westfield, it appears shoppers also flocked to Sydney’s CBD stores too.
Photos taken by Sydney photographer Mark Kriedemann from 1pm on Boxing Day prove that many NSW residents did not follow the Premier’s orders to stay at home.
On Christmas Day Gladys Berejiklian asked shoppers to avoid the CBD due to unlinked cases from nearby workers and people who visited the Paragon Hotel Sports Bar.
“We want to discourage people going to the CBD tomorrow, please limit your activity. If you are going shopping in the CBD, make sure you wear a mask,” she said.
“Think twice before you go to the CBD tomorrow … because you have people coming from all over Sydney coming to one location.”
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