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Boxing Day shoppers warned off over COVID

Sydneysiders have been urged to think twice about attending Boxing Day sales over fears of COVID-19 transmission.

Seven new locally acquired cases were recorded in the state on Christmas Day out of nearly 70,000 tests.

All the cases were linked to the northern beaches and six were already isolating.

Four infections were from the Avalon cluster, bringing its case total to 108.

Another two cases live with a someone who previously tested positive.

The seventh case works in the northern beaches, but the source of infection remains under investigation.

A child also tested positive on Thursday night and their case will be included in Saturday’s numbers.

It came as passengers on a regional flight and people lining up for Santa photos in the CBD were among the latest groups to be placed on alert.

People on flight ZL6469 from Sydney to Griffith, in NSW’s Riverina region, departing at 2.10pm on Monday are considered close contacts of a virus case.

People who attended a Santa photo set up on level three of Sydney’s QVB building between 10.15 and 11am on Wednesday should monitor for symptoms, and get tested and isolate if they appear.

Many Sydneysiders made do with smaller Christmas celebrations because of restrictions on family gatherings.

“I do not think anybody is having a normal Christmas today across NSW,” Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.

She discouraged people from going to the CBD for Boxing Day sales, but acknowledged this was “not the easiest message to give to those retailers”.

The premier implored anyone who did go to wear a mask, use hand sanitiser and practice social distancing.

Police from the NSW public order and riot squad were called to help break up a large crowd at a park at Bronte in Sydney’s eastern suburbs on Christmas afternoon.

The young revellers were mostly compliant, although police said a 25-year-old man was given a court attendance notice for failing to comply.

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