Yesterday saw the closure of Bondi Beach, among other beaches in Sydney, in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19. It appears, however, that even this is not enough to deter punters, as some members of the public are STILL going, public health crisis be damned.
Earlier today, Waverley Council sent out a tweet pleading with people to do the right thing.
“We need your help!”, said Mayor Paula Masselos. “People are still going to our beaches despite them being closed, police presence, Lifeguards on loud speaker. If you know someone going to the beach today, tell them not to. Let’s work together on this.”
We need your help! People are still going to our beaches despite them being closed, police presence, Lifeguards on loud speaker. If you know someone going to the beach today, tell them not to. Let’s work together on this. @paulamasselos pic.twitter.com/cClpX7P9C3— Waverley Council (@WaverleyCouncil) March 21, 2020
The Associated Press has photos that show groups of people congregating at Bondi Beach at dawn today, running, surfing and walking along the sand. Per reports in News Corp, some beach-goers have been “ignoring advice from Surf Lifesavers and stepping through barriers.”
Today’s scenes are still very different from those on Friday, when huge crowds congregated at the iconic Sydney spot to take in the surf and sand, in defiance of advice to practice social distancing. NSW Police Minister David Elliot slammed the behaviour, saying:
“What we saw this morning here at Bondi Beach was the most irresponsible behavior of individuals that we’ve seen so far. We cannot have an active area of community activity where more than 500 people are gathered. It’s with a significant level of disappointment that we have to move today to not only remove people from Bondi Beach but use this as an opportunity to remind people that the Health Act must be complied with.”
Waverley Council has closed Bondi, Bronte and Tamarama beaches to try and keep crowds away, while nearby Randwick Council has closed Maroubra, Coogee and Clovelly beaches.
We have reached out to Waverley Mayor Paula Masselos for further comment on the situation, but in the meantime, if one of your mates is planning on going to Bondi or another of Sydney’s beaches today, please tell them to stay home and not put lives at risk.