French Tourist Booted From Australia For Holding Illegal Rave On NYE
The Australian Border Force has handed out hundreds of formal warnings, eight visa cancellations and deported several tourists for breaching Covid-19 restrictions over the past few months.
A French tourist is one of the few kicked out of the country after he threw an illegal New Year's Eve party in regional Queensland amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The deportation fell under Operation Baritone, which was created to ensure foreigners follow social distancing, quarantine and self-isolation rules.
"People who are guests in our country have to do the right thing during the pandemic just as Australians must," Immigration Minister Alex Hawke said.
The ABF is now working with state authorities 'to ensure temporary visa holders who violate public health orders are made accountable'.
The move is a sobering reminder that authorities are cracking down on those who breach Covid restrictions, with Police Commissioner Mick Fuller saying earlier this week said that they are taking reports of anyone breaking the rules 'seriously'.
"There's community expectation that if you're sitting at home doing the right thing, listening to the messaging, then why aren't these people?" Fuller told 2GB.
It comes following a slew of other parties held by foreign nationals also being shut down after breaking restrictions during the Christmas period.
On December 25, authorities were horrified when they were called to Bronte Beach to find hundreds of revellers partying on the grass. Very few people were wearing face masks and virtually no one was practising social distancing.
Greater Sydney was, at the time, on high alert following an outbreak of coronavirus cases in the Northern Beaches area.
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Australia's Immigration Minister later warned that backpackers and foreign visitors found to have attended the party could face deportation.
Hawke told radio station 2GB: "If somebody is threatening public safety or health, their visa can be cancelled and revoked.
He added that if some of them were back in their home countries in Europe they wouldn't even be allowed to leave their home, let alone party outside with loads of people.
He said: "The fact that you can go out is a privilege, and it should be respected in an appropriate way, in accordance with the government's requirements."
"Certainly, the federal government is looking at that issue in the lead-up to New Year's Day as well.
"There are many options available to the department: you can put them into immigration detention, however, we're very happy to deport people, if people are flagrantly disobeying public health orders."
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard also condemned the Christmas Day party, saying: "It is absolutely appalling to see what was clearly a group of people, a large gathering of people who didn't give a damn about the rest of Sydney.
"Let me tell you, that event, I am hoping, will not become a superspreader event. But has every chance that it could be.
"Obviously in the earlier stages of the pandemic, we had some challenges with backpackers who clearly wanted to party in the eastern suburbs. It cannot go on."
Featured Image Credit: ABF
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