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Mayhem’ as Sydney crowds defy lockdown advice to stay at home

Crowds of people have been caught thronging outdoors in Sydney in defiance of lockdown pleas to stay at home, with one venue reporting scenes of “mayhem”.

People flocked to the skate park at Sydney Park during lockdown in large numbers on Saturday afternoon.

Crowds of people thronged outdoors in Sydney on Saturday, enjoying “lockdown” and ignoring pleas to stay at home as NSW struggles to contain the Covid-19 Delta strain spread.

At one venue, Sydney’s Centennial Park, a visitor told news.com.au it was “mayhem” with cars and crowds and that she had “never seen it so busy”.

Sydneysiders seemed to be at odds with NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s advice earlier this week to “Please stay at home unless absolutely necessary”.

She hammered home that message again in her Saturday morning press conference announcing 35 new virus cases in NSW, noting that while “the weather is great”, caution was needed.

“ … if you do want relief from your home today, if you have been staying at home and doing the right thing, please avoid shopping centres or indoor areas,” she said today.

“And if you are exercising with people who are not from your household, please make sure you keep that social distance and where you can, if you want to get exercise, please avoid shopping centres or indoor areas.”

But at Centennial Park, where the park’s centre was closed off, people crowded around the edges and customers crammed into the cafe without masks while failing to observe social distancing rules.

“It was busier than the Easter Show,” one park visitor, identified as Natasha, told news.com.au.

“Cars were honking horns, we were getting pushed off the footpaths and on to the

“It was crazy. I’ve never seen it like that before, even on school sports days.”

At Bondi, which has had more than 70 “venues of concern” listed by NSW Health, including 20 on the “close contacts” list, maskless people strode the promenade by the beach.

People flocked to the skate park at Sydney Park during lockdown in large numbers on Saturday afternoon.

At Double Bay, a personal training group appeared to have done exactly what Premier Berejiklian warned against: “If you are outdoors exercising in a group of ten, make sure the ten doesn’t become 20”.

Elsewhere in Sydney, including at Flemington Markets, people crowded in to do their Saturday morning shopping, while a news.com.au reader reported that at Darling Square, “every outdoor table and bench is full”, and that Sydney Park was “packed like a normal Saturday”.

RELATED: Qld records 5 new local cases

People are seen walking the promenade at Bondi Beach on Saturday morning. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Bianca De Marchi

People are seen walking the promenade at Bondi Beach on Saturday morning. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Bianca De MarchiSource:News Corp Australia

Exercisers thronged to Centennial Park on Saturday morning where it was hard to get a parking space. Picture: NRS/CJS Media

Exercisers thronged to Centennial Park on Saturday morning where it was hard to get a parking space. Picture: NRS/CJS MediaSource:Supplied

One of half a dozen groups exercising in Redfern Park on Saturday morning. Picture: CJS Media

One of half a dozen groups exercising in Redfern Park on Saturday morning. Picture: CJS MediaSource:Supplied

On Twitter, some posters were calling the closures a “Clayton’s lockdown” or questioning why retail stores were still open and adding to the daily expansion of Covid-19 locations.

Locations at Bondi, North Bondi, Bondi Junction and Bondi Beach on the NSW Health list include 39 casual contact listings, six transmission venues of concern and several transport routes.

NSW Police have issued 78 infringement notices to people who have left home for unacceptable reasons, including tourists visiting the Jenolan Caves because they were “bored”.

On Friday, NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said the exposure sites were “shifting”.

“The message is, please don’t go out and about shopping in retail, in any setting, if you have got symptoms,” she said.

“It also highlights the importance, as people are moving around in shopping centres, please do assume that you are next to someone who may have covid and ensure you are wearing a mask at all times.”

At Bondi, where more than 70 covid locations have been listed by NSW Health, walkers exercised by the beach. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Bianca De Marchi

At Bondi, where more than 70 covid locations have been listed by NSW Health, walkers exercised by the beach. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Bianca De MarchiSource:News Corp Australia

Groups in Redfern Park didn’t exceed ten each, but were in close quarters. Picture: CJS Media

Groups in Redfern Park didn’t exceed ten each, but were in close quarters. Picture: CJS MediaSource:Supplied

Centennial Park on Saturday morning was ‘busier than on a school sports day’, one user told news.com.au. Picture: NRS/CJS Media

Centennial Park on Saturday morning was ‘busier than on a school sports day’, one user told news.com.au. Picture: NRS/CJS MediaSource:Supplied

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