Melbourne’s beaches have seen a “substantial additional police presence” this weekend, after Premier Dan Andrews slammed the “unacceptable” behaviour of some punters, and warned that they could end up being closed over the summer.

Residents of the locked-down city have taken advantage of the warmer weather over the past several days, but concerns were raised on Friday, when Seven News footage showed a large crowd gathered at St Kilda beach, without wearing masks or practicing social distancing.

Per reports in the Herald Sun, a man was arrested following a “violent scuffle” with four police on the boardwalk yesterday evening. Additional officers were called for backup, and a crowd gathered before the man was taken away in a police van at around 6.30pm.

Addressing reporters yesterday, Dan Andrews slammed the behaviour of some beach-goers as irresponsible, and warned of possible restrictions, saying:

“Spending time at the beach without a mask, without social distancing now, will just mean that you won’t get to go to the beach for all of summer. No one has the right to break the rules and potentially put at risk everything that good, decent, law-abiding Victorians have created, have built.”

Speaking to the media again this morning, Dan Andrews said that police will maintain a presence on the city’s beaches throughout the remainder of the weekend, and pleaded with residents to continue following the COVID-19 safety guidelines.

“We are so, so close,” he said. “Let’s not any of us do anything that might undermine the very positive numbers.”

Chief Heath Officer Brett Sutton retweeted out a photo of park-goers practicing social distancing in Northcote, and thanked punters for enjoying the outdoors safely amid the pandemic.

Image: Getty Images / Robert Cianflone