The latest Covid outbreak in Sydney’s Northern Beaches has a lot in common with the original pandemic flare-up in Bondi.
Like March, a wealthy part of the harbour city is the epicentre of a coronavirus scare, with 28 cases mainly linked to the Avalon RSL club.
This is very different to July when poorer suburbs with a higher concentration of migrants in Melbourne‘s north and west and Sydney’s south-west were the scene of double-digit case numbers.
These outbreaks were sparked, respectively, by a hotel quarantining security breach, that led to a three-month city-wide lockdown, and a pub popular with truck drivers.
The Northern Beaches, like Sydney’s eastern suburbs taking in Bondi, also has higher household incomes than the Australian average.
The latest Covid outbreak in Sydney’s Northern Beaches has a lot in common with the original pandemic flare-up in Bondi. Pictured are women at Avalon Beach on December 18, 2020
The Warringah federal electorate, covering Manly and Curl Curl, has a median annual household income of $123,968, Census data showed.
That is very similar to the Wentworth electorate in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, where $123,760 is the middle household income in area covering the uber-wealthy postcodes of Bellevue Hill and Vaucluse.
Social researcher Mark McCrindle said that unlike the July outbreaks in poorer parts of Sydney and Melbourne, the Northern Beaches was home to more white collar professionals who didn’t have to leave the area for work.
‘There’s always been that term the “Northern Beaches bubble” and so if the area is locked down, hey, they’ve had themselves locked down anyway,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.
‘As a community, there’s the insular peninsula, as they’ve called themselves.
‘It’s quite different to some of the other outbreaks where people travelled a lot for work, the Northern Beaches are more self contained.’
Northern Beaches residents too are less likely to be in service jobs requiring them to be physically present.
Like March, a wealthy part of the harbour city is the epicentre of a coronavirus scare. Pictured is a crowd at Bondi Beach on March 20, the day Australia’s border was closed to non-residents and non-citizens
‘Because of the knowledge base, because it’s office-type white collar workers largely, managerial, they are able to work from home,’ Mr McCrindle said.
‘They have been working from home, partly because anyone on the Northern Beaches, if they can avoid a trip to the city, they will and they’ve been doing that anyway and even more so with this outbreak.’
Unlike Bondi in March, the Northern Beaches is not the home of large numbers of international backpackers, owing to the border closure nine months ago.
Geographically, the Northern Beaches is a peninsula bordered by Middle Harbour in the south next to Manly and Pittwater in the north, on the western side of Palm Beach.
Geographically, the Northern Beaches is a peninsula bordered by Middle Harbour in the south and Pittwater in the north. Pictured is Avalon on December 18, 2020
Unlike Sydney’s eastern suburbs near the city, it isn’t a transit point to other parts of the city.
‘It’s a better area to manage because its natural geographical isolation and the population that is not as migratory,’ Mr McCrindle said.
The Northern Beaches is a lot richer than another area of Sydney that was five months ago the scene of a Covid outbreak.
Median house prices at Manly, on the northern edge of Sydney Harbour, stand at $2.7million compared with $682,227 at Casula, in Sydney’s outer south west, which was the scene of the Crossroads Hotel outbreak.
Median house prices at Manly, on the northern edge of Sydney Harbour, stand at $2.7million compared with $682,227 at Casula, in Sydney’s outer south west, which was the scene of the Crossroads Hotel outbreak. Pictured is the hotel on July 11 after it was turned into a Covid pop-up clinic
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