Picnic hotspots have turned into boozy moshpits in Sydney’s eastern suburbs and northern beaches as residents risk fines to celebrate Freedom Day early.
Hundreds gathered by the water at Bondi and Manly on Saturday night to party ahead of Covid restrictions being relaxed on Monday for double-jabbed residents.
Massive crowds flocked to ‘The Office’ in Manly – a popular waterfront spot near the wharf – where music was blasting and an impromptu dance floor was set up.
Revellers were filmed crammed together and maskless as they belted out ABBA songs with drinks in tow while some were reported urinating.
Similar scenes occurred at Bondi beach, after police were forced to disperse huge crowds who began congregating throughout the day.
A number of move-on directions were given to residents while no fines were issued despite public health orders being in place until Monday.
Hundreds of revellers have flocked to Manly beach on Saturday (pictured) just days shy of the state’s scheduled Freedom Day
Residents began gathering during the day at the popular waterfront picnic hotspot in Manly (pictured)
Police were pictured moving the raging crowd on just after 7pm with reports revellers drank alcohol against council restrictions.
Under Covid-19 restrictions only groups of five fully-vaccinated adults are allowed to gather outdoors until the state’s stay-at-home orders are eased on October 11.
But residents were desperate to get a taste of normal life again as Sydneysiders marked 15 weeks living in lockdown.
Reaction was mixed on social media, where images and footage of the wild scenes were shared.
Hundreds congregated in Bondi Beach on Saturday (pictured) before they were dispersed by police
Police issued move-on directives to revellers just after sunset with no fines reportedly issued (pictured)
‘This is anarchy. Yes, alcohol can be consumed there, but police aren’t powerless- there are also public health orders that can be enforced,’ wrote news publisher Manly Observer.
‘Where are the police?’, questioned one local, while another slammed the revellers for being ‘selfish’ and ‘privileged’.
Others praised the large groups of young people for having a good time on a Saturday night.
Sydneysiders were pictured flocking to Bondi beach days before the state’s scheduled reopening on October 11
Public health orders are still enforced until Monday October 11, with only groups of five fully-vaccinated adults permitted to gather outdoors
‘This is what happens when people are caged up like animals,’ wrote one man.
‘Is 28 hours actually going to make any difference to the outcome?,’ pointed out another.
‘Let’s just put things into perspective. It’s been a horrendous couple years for the youths especially. They are in the prime of their life and are certainly very excited the world is about to open up next week and they are in a highly vaccinated LGA. Enough of the generational warfare,’ reasoned another.
Scenes in Bondi show police promptly dispersing the large crowd just after sunset
Residents turned up to celebrate Freedom Day early after NSW hit its 70 per cent vaccination target this week
Double vaccinated residents will be able to enjoy greater freedoms from October 11 after NSW hit its 70 per cent vaccination target this week.
As of Monday up to ten visitors will be allowed to gather at a home where all adults are vaccinated, while outdoor gatherings have a 30 person limit.
Pubs, restaurants and cafes will open back up with beachgoers no longer having to rely just on picnics for food and drinks.