Ferry services in Sydney have been suspended as the city endures the worst smoke conditions on record – a stunning 11 times the ‘hazardous’ level of pollutants in the worst affected areas, such as Macquarie Park in Sydney’s northwest.
The fleet of ferries that usually carry thousands of people across the harbour every day will remain in port until the smoke lifts, a spokesperson for Transport for NSW said, adding, “We just don’t know when that is going to be.” Replacement bus services will be running between Manly and Circular Quay. Travellers on other ferry routes are advised to use alternate modes of public transport to complete their journeys.
Many of Sydney’s beaches, such as Balmoral and Parsley Bay, have been stained with ash, turning the waters black. In the CBD, false alarms have led to several office blocks and train stations evacuating, as smoke detectors have been activated by the bushfire haze.
The NSW health authority has advised Sydneysiders to remain indoors where possible, ideally in air-conditioned buildings where the air is filtered. Prolonged physical activity and exercise outdoors should be avoided where possible until the smoke conditions improve. Updates on Sydney’s air quality rating can be found here.