Coronavirus has infected “several” backpackers near Australia’s famous Bondi Beach.

The news comes a day after the beach was closed following the gathering of hundreds of people in defiance of “social distancing” rules brought in by the Australian government.

New South Wales Health said: “Several new diagnoses of COVID-19 have been made in backpackers in the Bondi area.

“There were two recent parties that some of the cases attended where the cases may have acquired their infections.

“People who also attended these parties should be on alert for symptoms of COVID-19 and immediately isolate themselves if any symptoms develop.

“They should then seek testing via a GP or COVID clinic, and tell the medical service that they had attended one of the parties.”

Both parties were a week ago at venues near the popular Sydney beach.

The nationalities of the backpackers were not confirmed.

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Earlier many people had reacted angrily to scenes of crowds at the beach just after Prime Minister Scott Morrison had asked Australians not to gather in groups of more than 500 outdoors, while an indoor limit was set at 100.

It was also advised that people stay at least 1.5m away from each other.

Australia’s health minister Greg Hunt had said: “What happened in Bondi was unacceptable, and the local council must take steps to stop that from occurring.

“This is all of our responsibility, each of us.

“I would say to everybody, we are all in this together.”

Australia has more than 1,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus. Seven people have died.



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