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Police Prohibits Sydney Taxis, Rideshares From Taking People to CBD Amid Potential Protests

Brittany Jordan



Australian police have prohibited taxis, rideshares, and passenger services from driving people to Sydney’s CBD on Saturday, in an effort to stop people from attending any anti-lockdown protests.

New South Wales (NSW) Police and the military are seeking to enforce the NSW government’s strict lockdown rules.

The prohibited zone will be in force from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday amid the potential of anti-lockdown protests. Passenger services face fines of up to $500,000 if they fail to comply. Individuals could be fined up to $100,000, NSW Police said in a statement provided to The Epoch Times.

The prohibition notice was issued to seven transport providers in efforts to thwart what the NSW Police called “planned unlawful protest activity.”

Up to 1,000 police officers are out to enforce compliance, with officers even going door to door and meeting people at train stations and on trains, to question them about whether they intend to take part in protests, Nine News reported.

Police patrol Victoria Park just before 9 a.m. in Sydney, Australia on July 31, 2021. (Brook Mitchell/Getty Images)

“A pandemic is not the time to protest and this prohibition notice is just one of the tools police have implemented today to ensure the safety of the community,” Central Metropolitan Region Commander, Assistant Commissioner Peter Thurtell said in a statement.

Thurtell said the NSW government’s restrictions are in place to protect the vulnerable and stop the spread of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, which causes the COVID-19 disease.

Essential workers and anyone requiring medical treatment will be exempt from the prohibition and can travel to the CBD, he said.

This comes as NSW Police move to prevent a recurrence of last weekend’s anti-lockdown protest, when Australians took to the streets in the thousands in a largely peaceful fashion to express their opposition to the state governments’ measures.

lockdown protest
Thousands of protesters march on the streets of the central business district of Sydney on July 24, 2021. (Steven Saphore/AFP via Getty Images)

Sydney residents have been forced to face another four weeks of lockdown and restrictions, with the NSW government citing “low vaccination rates” as a key factor in its decision.

State officials have said that the only way to guarantee fewer restrictions is if high vaccination rates are achieved. Meanwhile, countries like Israel and Singapore, which have achieved high vaccination rates, have recently reintroduced COVID-19 restrictions measures as virus case numbers rise again.

The large exclusion zone stretches from the Bradfield Highway at Milsons Point north of the Harbour Bridge, to the City West Link at Lilyfield, to South Dowling Street near Todman Ave at Zetland, and east to New South Head Road near Ocean Ave at Edgecliff.

NSW And Victorian Border To Close As Coronavirus Cases Continue To Rise
NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller speaks to the media at a press conference in Sydney, Australia on July 6, 2020. (Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller on Friday said that police were monitoring online activity about the planned protest for Saturday and didn’t expect the same numbers as last weekend.

“It appears it will not be in the same numbers. It can still be violent,” he told reporters on July 30.

But Fuller warned would-be protesters they would be met by the 1,000 strong police force, who would “be ready to deal with you, whether that be via the health orders or other laws.”

So far, NSW Police have detained 60 people from protests last week and issued 200 infringement notices.

Daniel Teng contributed to this report.

Brittany Jordan is an award-winning journalist who reports on breaking news in the U.S. and globally for the Federal Inquirer. Prior to her position at the Federal Inquirer, she was a general assignment features reporter for Newsweek, where she wrote about technology, politics, government news and important global events around the world. Her work has also appeared in the Washington Post, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Toronto Star, Frederick News-Post, West Hawaii Today, the Miami Herald, and more. Brittany enjoys food, travel, photography, and hoarding notebooks and journals. Her goal is to do more longform features journalism, narrative writing and documentary work, and to one day write a successful novel and screenplay.

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