'Disgraceful' Sydney lockdown image prompts wave of anger

A pack of Sydney beachgoers enjoying the sunshine have been branded “self-entitled" as they were photographed sitting around in groups amid stay-at-home-orders.

Greater Sydney and surrounding areas are currently in lockdown and were subject to a tightening of restrictions overnight. Southwest Sydney, which includes the Fairfield, Canterbury-Bankstown and Liverpool LGAs are under even heavier police surveillance to limit people from moving.

But a photo which has emerged from Fairy Bower Beach along the popular Marine Parade walk in Manly has people furious.

Local community news site Manly Observer shared a photo on Facebook of people crowding on parts of the walk and nearby rocks, seemingly ignoring social distancing with some sat in deep discussion.

“Every day we’ve been sent photos of people clearly close (camera angles can be deceptive and exaggerate proximity, but it’s clear there are too many people not in well distanced pairs in most pics),” it wrote.

“We have held off publishing them because we are trying to create unity not division and anger.

“But this image, taken just this morning from a tradie securing his worksite as he is no longer able to work, is disappointing.”

Yahoo News Australia has contacted NSW Police about the photo.

NSW Police earlier said in a statement on Sunday it was continuing to undertake "high visibility patrols to ensure the community is educated and complies with the new requirements of the Public Health Order."

A food delivery cyclist puts on their helmet before delivery in Sydney, Australia.
A food delivery cyclist in a locked down Sydney CBD on Saturday. Source: Getty Images

Beachgoers 'sad and irresponsible'

People echoed the sentiment of the community news outlet and branded the behaviour of those photographed as "disgraceful".

"This is not right," one person replied.

“So sad and irresponsible,” one woman wrote.

Another woman called them “self-entitled morons”.

“What the actual f*** is going on?” one man wrote.

Others asked "what hope do we have?".

"These people are just stupid idiots. Not helping at all," another woman wrote.

Others said they had witnessed the group of people, with one saying they "held their breath" as they passed.

The wall pictured is popular with customers of the adjacent cafe who often sit on the wall while drinking their coffees.

More photos were shared of Manly Beach on Twitter.

One woman tweeted Manly has been left “defeat Covid with takeaway coffee and attitude”.

A man who instigated a pop up party in Manly from a van on Thursday was fined $1000.

Footage of the “party” has been published on a Manly Facebook group and on Instagram.

It shows two men dancing on top of a black van as bubbles fill the air and several children dance on the ground below.

NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys reminded people on Sunday anyone caught breaking the rules could face six months in jail or an $11,000 fine or both.

The deputy commissioner referred to three removalists who allegedly knew they have Covid-19 and travelled from a hotspot to regional NSW.

A tale of two Sydneys?

The photo is also sure to infuriate many communities in Sydney’s southwest who remain monitored by police.

Under restrictions introduced late Saturday, residents in the southwest cannot leave their suburbs unless they do work deemed essential such as health care.

Those who do leave have to undergo Covid testing every three days.

The ongoing testing and monitoring has led to roads being clogged outside of drive-in testing clinics.

Fairfield Mayor Frank Carbone wrote on Facebook on Wednesday the area’s testing facilities were “in chaos and panic”.

Long queues of cars are seen at a pop up Covid testing clinic at the Fairfield Showgrounds in Sydney.
Residents queue for testing at Fairfield Showgrounds in Sydney on Wednesday. Source: AAP

Mr Carbone told Nine’s Today Show on Sunday the community is “confused and frustrated” by the rules.

“We will do our bit. People are not going outside,” he told the program.

“We are working really hard to stop the virus from spreading.”

He also shared a photo of a busy Bondi Beach workout station, comparing it to what he said was lockdown compliance from his residents, saying it was no wonder the state government had "lost respect".

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