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South Coast Police District residents urged to celebrate in a COVID-safe way this Australia Day

South Coast Police District is reminding the community to celebrate safely this Australia Day, as the state prepares to mark a national holiday that will look very different this year.

With large gatherings limited across the state due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, people are being encouraged to watch the live broadcast on TV from their home, have small COVID-safe gatherings with family and friends or book a restaurant in their local area to help support businesses.

However, a highly visible and mobile police operation will be in place on Tuesday 26 January 2021 for those who choose to reflect and celebrate outdoors. General duties officers from the South Coast Police District, assisted by specialist police, will be deployed across the state to ensure a safe and secure environment for everyone.

South Coast Police District Acting Superintendent Raymond Stynes, said while this year’s celebrations will look different, local police will be focusing on ensuring the community remains COVID-safe, and targeting alcohol-related crime and anti-social behaviour.

“After the year we’ve had, this day is a time to reflect on our sense of community and to come together to celebrate everything that is great about being Australian,” Supt Stynes said.

“Australia Day 2021 is a day to reflect, respect and celebrate the Australian spirit so we ask the community to be patient and respect each other and any restrictions in place.

“We do have the power to ensure that the community is adhering to current public health orders, so let’s work together to ensure everyone enjoys Australia Day safely.

“Importantly, it you are planning to drink, look after your mates, drink in moderation, and always have a Plan B if you’re driving.

“Officers from the Traffic and Highway Patrol Command will also be on our roads. If you are caught doing the wrong thing, you will be put before the courts.

For details about what’s happening in your area and further event-related information, visit the official Australia Day website:

Please check the NSW Health website for the public health restrictions that apply to your area, or the area you plan on visiting.

Hot weather is expected over the next few days, and police are urging revellers to keep informed on the conditions, look after their health and remember the four key messages to keep healthy in the heat:

1. Drink plenty of water (limit hot, sugary, or alcoholic beverages) 2. Keep cool (stay in the air conditioning, if possible) 3. Take care of others (visit or contact those at risk of heat-related illness)

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