People were scattered among the rocks at Mackenzies Bay on Anzac Day, with many stopping to sit or sunbake in their boardshorts and bikinis despite local and state government advice.
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The bay is a small inlet between Bondi Beach and Tamarama Beach, which both remain closed to all land-based activities including social gatherings, sunbaking, walking and jogging.
In NSW, residents are allowed to leave home to exercise but “must not participate in a gathering in a public place of more than two persons”. Members of the same household are an exception to this rule.
Failure to comply with a direction under the Public Health Order carries a maximum penalty of six months behind bars or a fine of up to $11,000.
BEACHES TO REOPEN UNDER STRICT NEW MEASURES
Bondi Beach and Bronte Beach will partially reopen tomorrow for local surfers and experienced swimmers to exercise from Monday to Friday, according to the local council.
Waverley Mayor Paula Masselos said access to the water will be via designated entry and exit points managed by rangers.
“The council expects to provide access to the water for the sole purpose of exercising for surfers and swimmers between the hours of 7am and 5pm on weekdays commencing Tuesday 28 April,” a statement from Waverley Council reads.
“The council will review these measures on an ongoing basis, including whether to provide access on weekends.”
In addition, surfing will be permitted at Tamarama and Mackenzies Bay between the same designated hours “but the beach remains closed to swimmers and all land-based activity”, Waverley Council states.
The council said, as per public health orders, all public ocean pools including Bronte Pool remain closed.
Ms Masselos said the strict “Swim & Go” and “Surf & Go” measures had the support of NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard and NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant.
Not long now Bronte. 7.00 am Tuesday 28 April swimmers and surfers will be able to safely access the water via designated corridors. Beach remains closed. Please observe rules and social distancing as I really want this to work. Otherwise reclosure. pic.twitter.com/TMqJlj0OFJ
— Paula Masselos (@paulamasselos) April 25, 2020
She stressed that it was not a “reopening” of Waverley’s beaches.
“There will be no relaxing or gathering around on the sand. The sand remains strictly off-limits other than for access to the water for exercising. If social distancing rules can’t be followed, then this access to the water will be shut down,” Ms Masselos said.
“I also want to remind people that the NSW public health order to stay at home remains in effect. These measures are strictly for locals to exercise locally, and if you are attending the beach to exercise, please do your exercise and leave.
“The timing of our measures coincides with the onset of cooler weather and the opportunity to monitor what is happening in other council areas with regard to their beaches.”
She said if the conditions or instructions from rangers were not adhered to, Waverley Council would have “no choice” but to ban all access to the water.
“Remember, these measures are not designed for people to have a dip or paddle or for children to play on the sand,” Ms Masselos said.
‘ACCESSIBLE FOR EXERCISE’
The move follows measures introduced further south in the Randwick Council enclave that got off to a rough start last week when they were ignored.
Coogee, Maroubra and Clovelly beaches closed on Friday afternoon after people “failed” to acknowledge the rules, Randwick Council said. They were hit by crowds again over the weekend.
We had to close Coogee, Maroubra and Clovelly beaches today due to crowds and non-compliance with the exercise requirements.
We’ll open them 6am to 9am only on Saturday and Sunday for exercise.
Please stay safe and stay home. If exercising, please do so locally. pic.twitter.com/srycWUL3py
— Danny Said (@RandwickMayor) April 24, 2020
The situation has been reassessed and they opened on Monday from 6am to 9am for swimming, surfing and jogging.
“Leave once you’ve finished exercising,” the council says.
All other unpatrolled beaches in Randwick City remain closed until further notice including Gordon’s Bay, Malabar Beach, Little Bay Beach, Frenchmans Beach, Yarra Bay and Congwong Beach, as do ocean rock pools.
Coogee, Maroubra and Clovelly Beaches will be accessible for exercise tomorrow (Mon) from 6-9am. That means swimming, surfing and jogging. 🏊♀️ 🏄♂️ 🏃♂️ Please practise social distancing and leave once you’ve finished exercising. We need everyone’s help to do the right thing. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/Q0JFlq8Pmz
— Randwick Council (@RandwickCouncil) April 26, 2020