Don’t go to the beach! Councils warn that sunbakers will be turned away as Bondi and Coogee reach capacity sparking fears they will be closed
- Bondi Beach could be closed due to COVID-19 as huge crowds flock to the water
- Councils in east Sydney warned popular that beaches are approaching capacity
- Thousands of people flocked to Coogee Beach, leading to warnings of closures
Some of Sydney’s most famous beaches could be closed on Monday afternoon after tens of thousands of people flocked to the water, ignoring COVID-19 restrictions.
There was hardly any room to sunbake at Bondi Beach, with large crowds making the most of the 31C weather on the Labour Day public holiday.
Lifesavers at nearby Coogee Beach were warning beachgoers that unless a distance of 1.5 metres was maintained, they would consider closing the beach.
The massive crowds led to NSW Police patrolling the beaches in the early afternoon.
Similar scenes were a regular fixture along Sydney’s eastern suburbs beaches at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some of Sydney’s most famous beaches could be closed on Monday afternoon after tens of thousands of people flocked to the water, ignoring COVID-19 restrictions
There was hardly any room to sunbake at Bondi Beach, with large crowds making the most of the 31C weather on the Labour Day public holiday
Sun’s up, fun’s up! Bondi Beach heats up as crowds descend on the famous beach during New South Wales’ public holiday Monday
There was hardly room to move on Coogee Beach as thousands flocked to the water on the 31C public holiday
Despite ten straight days of no community COVID-19 transmission in NSW, threats of beach closures remain.
‘If people continue to come to Bondi Beach and crowds grow further, restricted access to the sand is likely to be implemented within the next hour 2-3pm,’ Waverley Council said in a statement.
‘If you haven’t left for the beach yet, please rethink your trip and check on capacity later in the day.’
Randwick City Council, which controls Coogee and Maroubra Beaches, advised keen swimmers to make other plans.
‘Many of our beaches are approaching capacity, so please make alternate plans if you’re heading to our coastline,’ the council tweeted on Monday.
‘If you’re already in the area, enjoy the warm weather at our beachside parks and reserves, or support local businesses by visiting stores in our town centres.’
Ahead of the warm weather, NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the state could not afford to let its guard down.
‘Until there’s a vaccine and a treatment, we need to treat everybody as if they potentially have this virus,’ he told Sunrise.
‘Complacency could turn this thing upside down very quickly.’
Bronte Beach on Saturday. People were in the water meters away from the natural rock pool called the Bogey Hole, popular with small children, closed due to sewage contamination
Surfers walk past the rolling waves on Monday as the mercury rose to 31C. Health officials have also raised concerns about the low testing numbers for the virus in NSW – with just 4,789 tests being carried out over the last 24-hour reporting period
The massive influx of people to Bondi and Coogee beaches is being affected by the partial closure of Bronte Beach, which is located in between.
A sewage overflow issue saw the south end of the beach closed, while the Murray Rose Pools were also shut.
Sydney Water found the contamination at Bronte’s Bogey Hole, a natural rock pool which forms a sheltered swimming area for young children.
Security and representatives from Sydney Water were seen ushering people out the water, after a public toilet blockage left the water too dangerous to swim in.
Sydney Water said the Redleaf Beach contamination was caused by a blocked toilet.
The large gatherings in Sydney come just days after similar scenes in Victoria, home to the strictest COVID-19 restrictions in Australia.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews warned he could be forced to extend the 5km travel bubble for metropolitan Melbourne if residents continue to hit the beach. Pictured: Locals at St Kilda on Saturday
Two people pose for a selfie while enjoying the sun at St Kilda Beach on Friday
Police patrol St Kilda Beach during the coronavirus pandemic in Melbourne on Saturday
Despite warnings of fines, large groups gathered on Friday raising concerns that the reckless behaviour could trigger another outbreak.
Premier Daniel Andrews warned he could be forced to extend the 5km travel bubble for metropolitan Melbourne if residents continue to hit the beach.
‘I can’t put a timeline on it but those rules serve a really important purpose and they’ll be in place for as long as that purpose is relevant and proportionate — the benefit is relevant and proportionate — to the challenge we face,’ he said.
‘There will be a time when that (5km rule) can come off, but exactly when that is — or it might be extended — when that is we can’t be certain now.’