Sydney Under Covid-19

The latest in pandemic fashion.
City pedestrian crossings have become fully automated in order to help stop the spread of Covid-19.
Crowd control outside the Apple Store in Sydney’s central business district. Apple employees and security personnel check customers’ temperatures and provide face masks and hand sanitiser before allowing them into the store.
The interior of the now closed Sir John Young Hotel in the CBD/downtown area of Sydney. The hospitality industry was hit particularly hard during the first lockdown with pubs forced to close their doors, and cafés and restaurants restricted to take-way orders only.
A customer checks into a pub in Marrickville using a QR code. State legislation requires every guest attending a pub, bar, restaurant or cafe to provide certain personal details to facilitate contact tracing.
Masks and hand sanitiser have become a standard part of daily life during the pandemic.
Social distancing rules apply even at playgrounds.
The departures board at Sydney International Airport. Prior to the pandemic, there were about 170 flights per day on average out of Sydney International. The number of flights in and out of Australia has been drastically slashed as a part of the federal government’s response to the global pandemic.
Luggage carousels in the Qantas terminal at Sydney domestic airport. The number of flights within Australia have been massively reduced as various regions in the country do what they can to contain the spread of SARS-CoV-2.
The drive-through testing clinic at Bondi Beach. In an attempt to curb the infection rate, NSW Health in conjunction with local hospitals has set up a number of readily-accessible pop-up testing facilities throughout the state.

Quiet City

As of writing, Sydney hasn’t gone into full lockdown due to Covid-19, but it has become a lot more quiet as many businesses close as a preventative measure. The CBD wasn’t as empty as I was expecting, but it was noticeably less crowded.

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Social distancing guidelines on the floor of my local café.

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Martin Place at 12:20. Usually a lot busier than this.

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Lunchers outside the GPO building in Martin Place.

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New measures for pedestrians.

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Park and George Streets.

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Sydney Town Hall steps. A popular rendezvous point, now virtually empty.

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The gates to Chinatown on Dixon Street.

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An eerily quiet Dixon Street.

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This place usually has a queue of around 15 to 20 people, waiting for cream puffs. Today, only one.

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Safe distance.

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The Middle East has interested me for some time. Unfortunately, travel to some countries in the region would be… unwise…

I’ve worked with a few Lebanese-Australians in various jobs and each of them, after hearing my stories of travel in Southeast Asia, said that Lebanon would be my cup of tea.

And so I went.

Because of its location between Europe and the Arabian peninsula, Lebanon is a country with an ancient and turbulent history. It shows a very strong influence from both cultures. I don’t think there are too many cities besides Beirut where you could be enjoying a beer at a rooftop bar while the mosque down the street broadcasts the call to evening prayer.

The people are amazingly friendly and accommodating, exhibiting that famous Mediterranean hospitality.

Lebanon is a country which was until recently at war, and the presence of military patrols and checkpoints as well as bullet-scarred buildings were reminders of the country’s strife in the not-too-distant past. Even now there are tensions at the southern border with Israel, and the presence of Daesh (ISIS) in neighbouring Syria is a constant worry.

I stayed mainly in Beirut but had a couple of days in Baalbek in the east of Lebanon where there are some of the best preserved ancient Roman ruins in the world. Unfortunately I didn’t get to see much else of this beautiful country due to becoming ill for about a week. I’m determined to make it back sometime soon to explore more.


Beirut building damaged by gunfire.


Beirut building damaged by gunfire.



French colonial building in Beirut


French colonial building in Beirut


French colonial building in Beirut


Pigeon Rocks, Beirut


The Mediterranean coast


Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque, Beirut


Interior of Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque


New residential towers in downtown Beirut


Roman ruins, Baalbek


The temple of Bacchus in Baalbek


Beqaa Valley view from the Roman ruins in Baalbek


The temple of Bacchus in Baalbek


Mosque in Baalbek


What’s left of the Holiday Inn in downtown Beirut. Used as a sniper position during the Lebanese Civil War. The building has been condemned and has been empty for decades.


French colonial building in Beirut


Beirut pizza shop in a building damaged by the war.


A street in Hazmiyeh, a neighbourhood in southern Beirut


A street in Hazmiyeh, a neighbourhood in southern Beirut


A street in Hazmiyeh, a neighbourhood in southern Beirut


A street in Hazmiyeh, a neighbourhood in southern Beirut


New residential tower in downtown Beirut

International Fleet Review Combined Navies Parade

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the commision of the Royal Australian Navy, an international fleet review has been held in Sydney.

Today members of various navies marched from The Rocks to Town Hall in downtown Sydney where they were reviewed by Her Excellency Quentin Bryce, the governer-General of Australia.