Riot police were called in yesterday afternoon to help break up a large crowd of revellers at Bronte Beach, who somehow didn’t get – or just chose to straight-up f’kn ignore – the message about Sydney’s COVID-19 outbreak.

Current restrictions allow for outdoor gatherings of up to 100 people, but those who witnessed the Christmas Day event estimated that there were around 200-300 people partying on the grass, wearing Santa hats and generally disregarding rules around social distancing.

The crowd at Bronte was said to be “packed closely together”, drinking and dancing and sitting on each-other’s shoulders, most without masks. Police were called to the beach at around 3pm, and later were joined by members of the Public Order and Riot Squad.

While we’re normally all for getting loose on the beach at Christmas, this is decidedly not the damn time, when partying could put actual lives at risk, and so many people around Sydney put their Christmas on hold to safeguard others.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard lashed the Bronte party-goers as “ignorant”, saying it was “beyond belief” that a group would gather in such large numbers right now, and risk spreading COVID. He told reporters:

“I get the desire for youthful Christmas exuberance, but this is as irresponsible, ignorant and idiotic as it gets … It’s a massive potential COVID-19 incubator.”

A 25-year-old man who reportedly attended the party has been charged with refusing to comply with a move-on notice from police.