With Australia’s external borders closed and domestic tourism limited, Sydneysiders were set to have the rare chance to have the internationally famous attraction nearly all to themselves.
At midday, only about 100 people were swimming, surfing and posing for photos in front of a Christmas tree set up by lifesavers.
With swift and strict measures, Australia has done far better than most other developed nations in fighting COVID-19, with just under 28 300 cases and 908 deaths. On Friday, there were an estimated 156 active cases across the country.
“We give thanks this year for our Christmas,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a televised holiday message. “Our blessings outweigh our struggles.”