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  • Sydney's Australia Day will be different because of the COVID-19 pandemic

    Author: AAP

Sydney's Australia Day celebrations will be streamed while frontline workers will be invited to attend the traditional concert at the Opera House forecourt.

Sydney's Australia Day celebrations will be different next year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, with smaller events, careful crowd management and people encouraged to stream events online.

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The traditional Sydney Harbour daytime program has been cancelled and Circular Quay will be closed from 5pm unless you have a restaurant booking or are attending a ticketed event.

The NSW government announced the changes on Thursday, saying Australia Day would still be a day to inspire and unify the community.

Tourism Minister Stuart Ayres said Sydney and NSW had always taken centre stage on Australia Day and that would continue in a COVID-safe way.

Frontline workers will be able to attend the traditional Australia Day Live concert at the Sydney Opera House forecourt but others will have to watch on TV.

Other events include the WugulOra Morning Ceremony at Barangaroo Reserve and a Salute to Australia at Government House, both of which will be broadcast. There will also be an Oz Day 10K Wheelchair Race in The Rocks.

January 26 would be an opportunity to acknowledge the resilience of Australians, especially frontline workers, Australia Day Council of NSW Chair Andrew Parker said.

"Our unique Australian values provide inspiration to remain hopeful for the future.

"They are based on the spirit of community, selflessness and resilience and are especially embodied by our front-line personnel, volunteers and many local groups that continue to stand-by their communities," he said.

Mr Ayres encouraged NSW residents to take the opportunity to engage with their communities and support local businesses.

"It is a time to support each other by visiting, staying, eating and shopping locally, each one of us can give back to these communities and make a difference. We also welcome residents from other states and territories," he said.

Councils planning Australia Day events will have to ensure they are COVID-safe.


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