Famous Sydney beaches closed after crowds flout coronavirus restrictions
Apr 24, 2020
by: SBS Australia
Some of Sydney's most iconic beaches will only open between 6am and 9am over the Anzac weekend after beachgoers ignored coronavirus social distancing measures.
The decision to significantly restrict access to patrolled beaches in Clovelly, Coogee and Maroubra this weekend was made after too many people showed up on Friday, a Randwick City Council spokeswoman said.
The council will reassess the situation on Monday.
Randwick's unpatrolled beaches - which include Gordons Bay, Malabar and Little Bay - will remain closed until further notice.
The council re-opened its beaches for exercise at the beginning of this week while warning against too many people gathering on the sand and in the water.
A beach closed sign at Coogee Beach in Sydney.
But they were closed on Friday afternoon after crowds descended "and people were unable to follow safe social distancing practices".
"By and large a lot of people are doing the right thing but what we found was in the middle of the day a lot of people were gathering on the beach, playing in the water and cooling down from the hot weather - these are not legitimate reasons to leave home," a council spokesman said.
"We had put out a pretty stern warning to say even though it's 28 degrees, it's not the day to come to the beach and have a fun leisurely day.
"You need to be surfing or swimming or jogging and doing some legitimate exercise."
The council had reopened the beaches partly because coastal walkways and local parks were being crammed with walkers and runners eager for space.
"Water is a legitimate place for people to exercise, it's important for their mental health," the spokesman said on Friday.
"We want to keep it open for exercise but we can't if people keep coming down for a fun day."
Starting today, numbers on all Randwick City beaches, including Clovelly, Coogee and Maroubra, will be closely monitored and closed if social distancing becomes difficult. These measures will continue throughout the Anzac Day weekend until Sunday evening 26 April 2020.
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