Nick Larkey (left) and Cameron Zurhaar (right) held a party at their home in Kensington on Sunday night. (AAP: Daniel Pockett and Julian Smith)
A group of North Melbourne footballers has apologised for throwing a party at a Melbourne home last night, in disregard of social-distancing advice to stop the spread of coronavirus.
- The party was held hours after the AFL announced it was postponing the season
- One neighbour told the ABC she was disappointed the players had ignored advice to avoid gatherings
- The club said the players understood the party was “inappropriate given the current climate”
After the AFL postponed the season yesterday, Nick Larkey and Cameron Zurhaar held a party at their Kensington home and hosted at least 10 people, according to two neighbours who said the bash lasted all night and into the morning.
Anaesthetist Patricia Ky said she approached both Larkey and Zurhaar and asked them to stop the party to which she claimed they responded “we all work together so if one of us has it, we all have it”.
She claimed one of the players also said “we just played today and this is the last time we might see each other for a while”.
“I spoke to them early in the evening and asked them to keep in mind social distancing, they failed to heed that advice and this morning when I came home from work they were still out, wandering in and out of the house,” Dr Ky told the ABC.
“They’re feeling young and invincible and that they’re willing to risk asymptomatically infecting themselves in order to not suffer any inconvenience to their social lives and they’re completely disregarding the risk they pose to others as they all leave that house.”
She laid a complaint with the club via an email.
The club issued a statement saying it was aware of the complaint.
“Both players have apologised unreservedly for the noise created and have acknowledged their actions were inappropriate given the current climate and social-distancing measures,” the club’s statement said.
“The players have been encouraged to apologise to their neighbours in person.”
Gatherings at private residences are still allowed under Victoria’s current restrictions in place to curb the spread of COVID-19.
But Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said today that a shutdown of bars and pubs did not mean it was time to “have your mates around and get on the beers” and that risk taking and avoiding social-distancing advice could kill people.
Health officials have told Victorians to work from home if they can, avoid non-essential gatherings and stay at least 1.5 metres away from others where possible.
Dr Ky said she was shocked that the players had ignored advice from the Government.
“I’m really disappointed that despite all the public education campaigns that we’re trying to push, even that is not enough for people to take social distancing seriously and value the lives of people that are more vulnerable.”
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