The streets of Sydney were silent overnight but it was a different story several hours earlier, with pictures revealing large crowds at Bondi Beach despite the city experiencing its first lockdown in six months.
It comes after multiple warnings from the vice-president of Australia's peak medical body that the Delta variant lurking across the country "has outrun contact tracers" as the Bondi cluster grew to 110 with 30 new cases of Covid-19 reported in the state on Sunday.
Five million residents across Greater Sydney and its surrounding regions were placed into a two week lockdown from 6pm Saturday as health officials race to contain the variant's highly infectious spread.
Residents in areas across inner Sydney and beyond, including the Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Central Coast, are under stay-at-home restrictions that are in place until July 9.
While officials hope the lockdown will be enough to contain the spread, Australian Medical Association (AMA) vice-president Dr Chris Moy has spoken to numerous publications over the weekend claiming the lockdown should have come earlier.
"We've been the victims of our own success so far because to some degree there's been a level of complacency and we've been living in a very gilded cage, a Truman Show, Jim Carrey-type world where we've really been very disconnected," Moy told SBS News.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian spent Sunday defending her decision to delay the lockdown, insisting she does "not regret a single decision" taken during NSW's latest outbreak.
Yet the AMA are concerned the Delta strain is being transmitted "far more easily" and that there's no time to make mistakes.
"The lockdown here is required, whether the decision should have been made earlier, it is likely it should have, and we will look back at that," Moy told the ABC.
As states and territories brace over fears of a national outbreak, Moy told the Sydney Morning Herald that the virus has "beaten the NSW contact tracers, and the reliance on contact tracers and holding out [on introducing a lockdown] for a few days has led to seeding across the country".
Simmering tensions over Bondi Beach crowds
Sydney's outbreak continues amid accusations of Covid complacency in the city. Large crowds at Bondi Beach were seen over the weekend, prompting NSW Health to send a reminder on Sunday night of "its advice for a number of key venues of concern across Sydney" — three of five of which were in Bondi.
Police revealed 17 infringement notices were issued on Sunday and warned lockdown rules will be enforced.
"There were more people breaching on the beach than there were getting Covid tested," journalist Robert Ovadia said, describing it as "ground zero for the outbreak that's forced us all into lockdown".
A man and woman from Sydney's eastern suburbs were among those issued with $1000 fines after they "failed to comply with the Public Health Order at Bondi Beach", police said in a statement.
"Police continue to appeal to the community to abide by the public health orders, and report suspected breaches of or any behaviour which may impact on the health and safety of the community."
Centennial Park, Hyde Park and Manly were also highlighted as areas of concern.
Under NSW's rules residents are allowed to leave home for four outdoor reasons, one of those being to "exercise and take outdoor recreation in Greater Sydney" but not in groups of more than 10.
"In the regions that we've outlined, in no more than groups of 10, you're able to gather outside for the recreational exercise," the NSW Premier outlined on Saturday afternoon.
"When you are outdoors in groups of 10, make sure that you maintain a good social distance and follow the health instructions."
But residents have been criticised for not listening to the advice in the new age of fleeting transmission with the highly infectious Delta variant.
"This is a different beast," Moy told the SMH. "You've got to go hard at this. Really, that's your best chance."