The surrounding “yellow zone” includes some second-tier viewing spots in Balmain, Walsh Bay, Pyrmont and the Star casino, as well as Neutral Bay, Kurraba Point and Cremorne Point.
Under current arrangements, people can access those areas without a New Year’s Eve pass. The government has already warned police will monitor the zone and will ask groups to relocate if loitering, overcrowding or street gatherings occur.
But that could change as a result of COVID-19 fears, especially after hundreds of people gathered at a party on Bronte Beach on Christmas Day, alarming the government and health officials.
Final rules will be announced in coming days but “everyone should presume they’re watching the fireworks from home this year”, Ms Berejiklian said on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the foreshore councils of Woollahra, Mosman, Waverley, North Sydney and the Inner West have all declared plans to restrict public access to vantage points in their areas, such as the Balmain foreshore.
Closures will be enforced with signage, physical fencing, security personnel and police. Signs warning “Wharf is Closed Thursday 31 December 2020” were visible in Pyrmont on Saturday and the wharves will be blocked with fences.
NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service has also advised that they will close the Sydney Harbour National Park to the public from 5pm on New Year’s Eve. The park includes the Bradleys, North and Middle heads, Nielsen Park, Strickland House, Milk Beach and Hermitage Foreshore Walk.
“Large numbers of police in uniform and plain clothes will be out in force this year patrolling the CBD and foreshore areas of Sydney providing a highly visible and mobile policing response,” the NSW government website states.
Families with young children will also lose out this year as the 9pm family fireworks and associated harbourside activities have been cancelled.
At this stage boat owners and charterers planning to enjoy the fireworks from the harbour can continue to do so with the same exclusion zones, speed limits and anchoring restrictions that applied in previous years.
Public transport services to the green zone will terminate from 5pm on December 31, with trains at Circular Quay only able to pick up passengers, buses to Circular Quay relocated to Martin Place, light rail services running to and from Town Hall only, and no ferries arriving or departing at Circular Quay wharves. Trains will not run to Milsons Point but will run to North Sydney.
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