Australia warns of deporting immigrants who breach Covid-19 rules ahead of NYE

Temporary visa holders who flout COVID-19 rules and restrictions risk being deported from Australia, Immigration minister Alex Hawke has warned.

Immigration Minister Alex Hawke told Sunrise that anyone who is not a citizen or resident of Australia caught breaching public health orders would be sent packing.

The news comes amid anger over footage of young revellers seen on Sydney’s Bronte Beach on Christmas Day.

The virus’s re-appearance in Sydney a week before Christmas sparked a swift re-introduction of restrictions in the city, including clampdowns on holiday gatherings and a lockdown of the worst-affected region, the Northern Beaches.

Meanwhile, Australia announced fresh restrictions for Sydney ahead of New Year’s eve as the city battles worsening outbreak after months of next to no local cases.

The city reported 147 Covid-19 infections on Wednesday.

Households will now be restricted to only five guests from Thursday, down from the previous 10-person limit. Outdoor gathering numbers have also been cut to 30 from 50.

Every other state and territory in Australia maintains a travel ban on people from Sydney.

Sydney’s traditional New Year’s Eve fireworks celebrations will still go ahead but authorities have already banned group gatherings at vantage points around the harbour.

Australia has recorded 909 deaths and about 28,300 cases since the pandemic began.