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NSW Health has asked organizers of a Hillsong youth camp to immediately stop singing and dancing at the event after a video of attendees partying without masks sparked public outrage.

Amid music festivals and concert cancellations due to the Omicron wave, the megachurch was caught holding a three-day summer camp near Newcastle, north of Sydney, where attendees sang and danced without masks.

According to state health regulations, singing and dancing is prohibited at music festivals, inns, nightclubs, entertainment venues, and major recreational facilities.

Health Secretary Brad Hazzard said while the order doesn’t apply to religious services, it does apply to large recreational facilities.

“This event clearly goes against the spirit and intent of the order, which is designed to help keep the community safe,” he said.

A large recreational facility is defined in the Public Health Regulations as a building or place used for large-scale sporting or recreational activities, regularly or periodically attended by a large number of people.

Hillsong defended the holding of the event, saying it was “in no way similar to a music festival”.

“Our camps mainly involve outdoor recreational activities, including sports and games,” it said.

“We are following strict COVID procedures and complying with government guidelines.”

It said the video of the singing and dancing participants represented “only a small part of the program, and each singing is only a small part of each service”.

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