Remember St Mary's Cathedral, empty over Easter?
There were no exceptions for Catholic services.
Likewise Anzac Day services - cancelled, no exceptions.
But a Muslim ceremony - well that's different!
Hundreds of Muslim worshippers have marked one of Islam's holiest days at a Sydney mosque after the NSW Government granted it a temporary exemption from coronavirus restrictions.
- NSW Health said exemptions were only granted in "exceptional circumstances"
- It said the mosque had a thorough COVID-19 Safety Plan
- The mosque will split attendees into four areas, with no more than 100 in each
Up to 400 people were allowed inside the Auburn Gallipoli Mosque in Sydney's west under the one-off exemption, granted by NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard.
Under NSW coronavirus restrictions, places of worship are limited to 100 people, or one visitor per four square metres.
The mosque's president Abdurrahman Asaroglu said those attending the annual festival of Eid al-Adha, also known as the festival of sacrifice, would be subject to temperature checks, sign-in sheets, and it would be mandatory to wear a mask.
Worshippers at the mosque will be expected to bring their own prayer mats and abide by social distancing rules while praying.
Dr Asaroglu said attendees would be spread out across "four zones" including the two levels of the mosque, an adjoining function hall and carpark.
"Our community is really understanding and they are OK to follow these measures — no shaking hands, no hugging — making sure that they just pray," he said.
In a statement, NSW Health said exemptions were only considered under "exceptional circumstances" and the mosque had developed a comprehensive COVID-19 Safety Plan.
It said none of the separate zones would exceed 100 worshippers and would not be allowed to mix between areas.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison, in an interview this morning, urged religious communities to find alternative ways to celebrate their faith.
"Jenny and I haven't had the chance to be at our church since February," the Prime Minister said.
"I know faith is very important to people, but even at times like this it is even more important that we don't gather in those large groups as important as faith is, we really do think of the health issues here"
Eid al-Adha marks the end of hajj, a five-day pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, and is one of the holiest days on the Islamic calendar.
Last night the ABC's 730 program broadcast this story
The ABC quoted Labor Senator Kristina Keneally making the claim about Border Force, flu tests and passenger disembarkation
KRISTINA KENEALLY: These documents show, quite tragically, that the Australian Border Force made a serious mistake when they mistook flu tests for COVID tests.
What these documents show is that the Australian Border Force made the decision for passengers to disembark the Ruby Princess.
But Border Force blew a hole in ABC activist Andrew Probyn‘a story within minutes of it airing.
Border Force sent out this statement at 7:46pm - 3 minutes after Probyn’s story finished.
ABF statement refuting reporting on Ruby Princess
The Australian Border Force (ABF) strongly refutes claims in Andrew Probyn’s ABC 7:30 reporting today that a senior ABF officer allowed 2,700 people to disembark the Ruby Princess cruise ship after mistakenly believing passengers displaying "flu-like symptoms" had tested negative to COVID-19.
The ABF only has legislative responsibilities for the Customs and Migration Act to clear vessels and people travelling from overseas ports.
No ABF officer had authority to make biosecurity decisions in relation to the Ruby Princess, including about pratique. The ABF responsibility does not include preventing the disembarkation of passengers or crew for human health reasons.
The ABF’s responsibility is to ensure that no one enters Australia with contraband and all passengers and crew are either Australian citizens or have an appropriate visa.
Any misinterpretation by ABF officers of test results did not make a difference as to whether passengers were cleared to disembark the Ruby Princess. Human health is not the responsibility of the ABF.
The continuous criticism of the ABF’s involvement in this matter at this time is unhelpful and distracting as agencies work together to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia.
Obama: "As we sit here, there are those in power who are doing their darndest to discourage people from voting by closing polling locations and targeting minorities...Even undermining the Postal Service in the run-up to an election that's going to be dependent on mail-in ballots" pic.twitter.com/4n7gdzdvD5— CBS News (@CBSNews) July 30, 2020
The hotel quarantine rort at the centre of Victoria’s COVID-19 catastrophe. SUNDAY on @Channel9, a #60Mins investigation into the murky security industry and the shocking failures of the people who were supposed to protect us from the virus. How did it all go so terribly wrong? pic.twitter.com/QaNmpAYeg0— 60 Minutes Australia (@60Mins) July 29, 2020
Another #peaceful and a follower of a peaceful prophet with over 250K subscribers openly incites people to grab my family members, torture them and make a video so I go back to Pakistan and face their #halal peaceful justice.— Harris Sultan (@TheHarrisSultan) July 29, 2020
This is his @YouTube channelhttps://t.co/KdYR2sfpek pic.twitter.com/Tw0HHdgKLa
My friend Darren Cartwright nails it:
A couple of teens have exposed Queensland's border rules as Monty Pythonesque. You leave Victoria, get on a flight in Sydney and fly into Queensland. They ask if you have been to a hotspot, basically 'quarantine or freedom', and you say 'freedom' and you're through. Not very rigid.
It's alright saying you're now charging them and fining them but it's a bit late and after the fact.
Border patrol is to stop exactly what has happened.
Premier says :"They went out to deliberately do the wrong thing". No crap!
That's why cops are there to stop these types of people.
She's almost saying there is nothing we can do if someone lies.