Bondi Beach backpacker hostel closed after Covid-19 case detected

Bondi hostel for backpackers is closed due to Covid outbreak, with police registering the building

  • Noah’s Backpackers Hostel locked down after detection of Covid-19 case
  • The positive case went into isolation while further tests are carried out in the hostel
  • Health officials said the case was not suspected to be Omicron at this stage.
  • Popular Bondi Beach backpackers in Sydney’s east are cordoned off with tape
  • NSW recorded 420 new cases on Thursday with the Omicron cluster at 42










A popular backpacker hostel has been plunged into lockdown after a case of Covid-19 was detected by health authorities.

Noah’s Backpackers Hostel on Bondi Beach in Sydney’s east has been cordoned off as officers in blue protective gear guard the entrance.

The only positive case has gone into isolation while testing is done by members of the hostel’s public health office.

“At this time, Omicron is not suspected,” a spokesperson for Sydney’s South East Local Health District said in a statement.

Noah’s Backpackers Hostel has been sealed off from the public as police in blue protective scrubs guard the entrance (pictured)

At this stage, it is unclear how many people are staying at Bondi's accommodation or how many people have tested positive for the virus (pictured, police at the scene)

At this stage, it is unclear how many people are staying at Bondi’s accommodation or how many people have tested positive for the virus (pictured, police at the scene)

‘NSW Police have been asked to help at a backpacker hostel in Bondi,’ police said. “Officers from Eastern Beaches Police Area Command are currently on scene.”

This is the second time the hostel has been closed for a Covid outbreak after a large group were seen mingling on a rooftop balcony in April 2020.

Guests were seen flouting distancing practices and stay-at-home measures amid the lockdown in which Bondi was a major center of the outbreak.

A cluster of cases in the affluent suburbs spread after a series of parties and gatherings in the area with pop-up testing sites set up.

NSW Health warned healthcare workers testing people in Bondi at the time to beware of ‘infected backpackers’.

However, Dylan Tenbrink, director of Noah’s Backpackers, said he believed travelers were being unfairly targeted and blamed for the outbreak.

Noah's Backpackers Hostel in Bondi has been slammed after guests on a balcony were seen flouting distancing practices (photo of guests at Noah's Backpackers Hostel before the Covid crisis)

Noah’s Backpackers Hostel in Bondi has been slammed after guests on a balcony were seen flouting distancing practices (photo of guests at Noah’s Backpackers Hostel before the Covid crisis)

Accommodations manager Dylan Tenbrink said he believed travelers had been unfairly targeted and blamed for the outbreak in April last year.

Accommodations manager Dylan Tenbrink said he believed travelers had been unfairly targeted and blamed for the outbreak in April last year.

After laying off 50 staff he ‘considered family’ after social distancing made it ‘impossible’ to continue operating, Mr Tenbrick feared backpackers could spread the virus with the hostel closed.

‘[The scrutiny] really targeted the backpacking community, which led to people going to work and… they got laid off,’ he told the ABC at the time.

He said travelers choose to live in hostels because they are cleaned and enforce physical distancing.

NSW recorded 420 new Covid cases on Thursday as the number of people diagnosed with the Omicron variant of the virus rose to 42.

Eight of the new cases were the mutant strain of the virus.

A quiz night at the Oxford Tavern in Petersham on November 30 sparked a new cluster of cases with 44 attendees testing positive for Covid.

A quiz night at the Oxford Tavern in Petersham (pictured) on November 30 sparked a new cluster of cases with 44 attendees testing positive for Covid

A quiz night at the Oxford Tavern in Petersham (pictured) on November 30 sparked a new cluster of cases with 44 attendees testing positive for Covid

NSW recorded 420 new Covid cases on Thursday as the number of people diagnosed with the Omicron variant of the virus soars to 42 (pictured, tourists in Bondi in March 2020)

NSW recorded 420 new Covid cases on Thursday as the number of people diagnosed with the Omicron variant of the virus soars to 42 (pictured, tourists in Bondi in March 2020)

Anyone who attended the pub trivia is considered a close contact and has been urged by health authorities to get tested immediately and self-isolate.

Vaccinated customers can be released from isolation if they test negative on or after December 6, but will be required to undergo another test on Sunday.

NSW Health is scrambling to trace 140 people who signed up for a Cadman cruise on Sydney Harbor on Friday night.

Five cases of the virus have been traced to the event with at least two suspected to involve the Omicron variant.

Statewide, 93% of adults are fully vaccinated against the virus, with the first dose tally for people 16 and older standing at 94.7%.

Linda G. Ibarra