Sydney’s beloved Bondi to Bronte Coastal Walk has been shut down, with the Waverley Council saying that they made the difficult decision as locals continued to ignore warnings about social distancing.

In recent days, large numbers of residents had continued to visit the area, in spite of the council’s “repeated calls” for people to stay at home or find alternate places to exercise.

There had also been reports of “behavioural issues”, with visitors ignoring signs and ranger instructions. Announcing the closure, Waverley Mayor Paula Masselos said:

“Unfortunately, closing the coastal walk was the only way the Council could help ensure that Public Health Orders could be maintained along the walk. Council is trying to balance the needs of our community, but we need our residents and visitors to adhere to social distancing in our public spaces.” 

Access points on the Bondi to Bronte walk will be closed from today, and the local council is in the process of installing signage and barricades. Those who ignore the closure are now facing fines.

Masselos added that the closure would not be a popular call, but that it was a necessary one, saying:

“I appreciate that this temporary closure will be met with frustration from some residents. I also appreciate how important it is for people to be able to exercise for mental health. I encourage people to be a tourist in their own suburb and find places to exercise on other streets and parks. If we all follow Public Health Orders then we may be in the position to reopen the coastal walk. In the meantime, I thank the community for their patience during this challenging time. We are all in this together.”

Sydney’s iconic Bondi Beach was shut down last month, after throngs of people continued to gather there in spite of warnings about social distaning.

Image: Getty Images / Mark Metcalfe