Four NSW Health staffers reportedly attended anti-lockdown protest

Four NSW Health staff are being investigated after allegedly attending last weekend’s anti-lockdown protest in Sydney.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said on Saturday he was “disappointed” by the allegations.

About 3,500 people marched the city's streets in protest of the Covid-19 lockdown last week.

“Investigations are currently continuing with both health and the police,” Mr Hazzard said after announcing 210 new local cases of coronavirus.

Protesters are arrested by the police at Sydney Town Hall during the ‘World Wide Rally For Freedom’ anti-lockdown rally at Hyde Park in Sydney.
Police arrest a protester at Sydney Town Hall during the ‘World Wide Rally For Freedom’ anti-lockdown rally last weekend. Source: AAP

Mr Hazzard said it was his understanding the group included a paramedic, two nursing assistants and another person.

“Obviously, it is a fine line isn't it?” he said.

“In a democracy people are entitled to demonstrate legally but of course it was not a legal demonstration.”

Meanwhile, thousands of NSW Police are taking to the streets to stop anti-lockdown protesters planning to gather today.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard at a press conference to provide a COVID-19 update in Sydney.
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said he was disappointed to hear allegations health staff attended the rally. Source: AAP

Police hit the streets

Protesters are expected to flock to the Sydney CBD to protest an ongoing lockdown in Greater Sydney and surrounding areas, which at this stage is due to end August 28.

NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller urged people on Saturday morning not to attend the protest.

“Do not do it,” he said.

“Our policing operation has been in place since early this morning. Up to 1000 police officers including a range of specialist resources on the ground already so don't go into the city to protest.

"Strikeforce season investigators have been continuing investigations into the events of last week's protests with 85 people charged to this date.”

Police expect a protest after monitoring online activity, but believe it will not be as many as the thousands that shook Sydney last weekend.

Police horse Tobruk, of the Mounted Unit of NSW Police Force is seen on patrol in Hyde Park.
Mounted police on patrol in Hyde Park on Saturday morning. Source: Getty Images

Taxi and rideshare companies face fines of up to half a million dollars if they take passengers into Sydney's CBD on Saturday, as NSW Police desperately try to prevent a sequel to last weekend's anti-lockdown protest.

AAP understands that NSW Police will set up an exclusion zone around the city to last from 9am to 3pm on Saturday.

Police have issued a prohibition notice to seven taxi and rideshare services banning them from taking passengers to the CBD over the six-hour period.

Protesters march along Broadway and George St towards Sydney Town Hall during the ‘World Wide Rally For Freedom’ anti-lockdown rally at Hyde Park in Sydney.
Anti-lockdown protesters in Sydney last weekend. Source: AAP

Companies who fail to comply with the notice risk a maximum penalty of $500,000, and individuals could be fined up to $100,000, NSW Police say.

The large zone stretches from the Bradfield Highway at Milsons Point north of the Harbour Bridge, to the City West Link at Lilyfield, to South Dowling St near Todman Ave at Zetland, and east to New South Head Rd near Ocean Ave at Edgecliff.

with AAP

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