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Landmark Sydney beaches closed as social distancing regulations enforced

Landmark Sydney beaches closed as social distancing regulations enforced
March 22, 2020

Bondi Beach is one of a number of popular Sydney locations to be closed by the NSW Government in an effort to enforce social distancing measures.

After images emerged on Friday of large numbers of beachgoers on Bondi Beach ignoring social distancing regulations and exceeding the ruling of maximum public gatherings of 500 people in a public place, the NSW Government and Waverley City Council yesterday closed the beach.

As of today, all beaches in Sydney's eastern suburbs are closed after NSW Police Minister David Elliott introduced restrictions on crowds at beaches, in line with national regulations on public gatherings.

Commenting on the action, Minister Elliott stated “it's a significant level of disappointment that we have to move (to) remove people from Bondi Beach.

"We cannot have an area where more than 500 people are gathered."

Waverley Council’s professional lifeguards enforced the ban, which it extended to Tamarama and Bronte beaches.

Randwick Council later followed suit, announcing it would close Maroubra, Coogee and Clovelly beaches on Sunday, as did Lake Macquarie City Council.

The Northern Beaches Council on Sunday afternoon also closed Dee Why, Freshwater, Manly, Long Reef and Palm Beach due to the "high number of people gathering in some areas".

Under regulations introduced by the Federal Government to control the spread of Coronavirus, outdoor gatherings of 500 people or more have been banned.

The NSW Government has now given professional lifesavers the ability to close beaches and ask people to move on if a crowd of 500 or more is gathered at the same spot.

Minister Elliot said that if people do not comply, NSW Police will have the powers to make people leave.

He added “this is not something we're doing because we're the fun police... this is about saving lives.

"If the community does not comply with the regulations and the health warnings, this is going to become the new norm.

"We are going to close down the type of activities we've grown to love."

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt was critical of beachgoers who flouted social distancing advice and risked spreading the virus.

Minister Hunt stated “what happened in Bondi was unacceptable.

"Each of us as individuals, as families, as groups, as councils, as state governments, as a national government has responsibility."

Image: Bondi Beach this morning. Courtesy of Waverley Council/Instagram.

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5th February 2020 - Waverley Council improves access to Bondi Beach

2nd January 2020 - Indigenous influence in brand identity for new Bondi to Manly walk

26th September 2019 - Sutherland Shire lifeguards complete training in time for summer season  

22nd May 2019 - Federal Government won’t deliver on APOLA funding plea to reduce drownings

15th December 2017 - Leading professional lifeguard says swim between flags message is ‘desirable but unrealistic’

2nd December 2017 - Bondi Beach dedicated as a National Surfing Reserve

6th January 2017 - Bondi Rescue educates the world about beach safety

12th September 2016 - Sydney’s beaches deliver $2 billion in social value

27th December 2015 - Professional Lifeguards highlight need for safety first at the beach

9th August 2010 - Sydney named as one of the world’s top 10 beach cities

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