Coronavirus Australia: Sydney coastal walks and beaches may be closed

‘Arrogant’ Sydneysiders in glitzy beachside suburbs have been warned their beloved beaches and scenic coastal walks could be shut down if locals continue to ignore Covid lockdown laws.

Targeted coastal operations were conducted Monday by highly visible police patrols in Bondi, Manly and other areas to ensure social distancing rules were followed, with police admitting they have considered closing the beaches.

Footage shot on the town’s northern beaches near Manly even shows mothers with prams being approached by police and warned to wear masks.

NSW registered 98 cases Monday as Sydney and surrounding regions entered their fourth week of grueling lockdown.

During last year’s lockdown, all of Sydney’s beaches and even the popular Bondi to Coogee coastal walk to the east were closed and taped off, but this year they have remained open so far – leading to massive amounts of people enjoying the winter sun. enjoyed.

Police and Emergency Services Minister David Elliot was upset after receiving reports and seeing photos of the busy beach areas (Bondi Beach pictured) in eastern Sydney

Pictured: Mothers with prams are approached by police and warned to put on a mask in Manly on Monday

Pictured: Mothers with prams are approached by police and warned to put on a mask in Manly on Monday

While there is very little evidence of outdoor transmission of the coronavirus in Australia, the government’s health advice is to wear a face mask in crowds when social distancing is not possible.

Gladys Berejiklian said earlier this month that none of the cases had been transmitted from the state while exercising outdoors, with exercise being one of the key reasons Sydneysiders are able to leave the house.

Photos of Bondi and Manly showing huge crowds without masks on the beach caused a stir over the weekend, with many crying in the western suburbs.

In the Covid-ravaged Local Government Areas of Liverpool, Canterbury-Bankstown and Fairfield, lockdown restrictions are stricter than anywhere else and police have descended on the area in recent weeks, handing out fines to residents and businesses deemed to follow the rules. not to follow.

But those in the area say the same strict policing strategy isn’t being applied to others living in more affluent suburbs.

Police and Emergency Services Minister David Elliot was furious after receiving reports of boardwalks along Bondi and Manly beaches full of people exercising and walking their dogs while enjoying the winter sun.

He warned that if the situation does not come under control, those areas will have to close as they did during the first wave of Covid in 2020.

'Arrogant' Sydneysiders in glitzy beachside suburbs have been warned their beloved beaches and scenic coastal walks could be shut down if locals continue to ignore Covid lockdown laws (pictured, crowds at Bronte Beach in Sydney's east on Monday)

‘Arrogant’ Sydneysiders in glitzy beachside suburbs have been warned their beloved beaches and scenic coastal walks could be shut down if locals continue to ignore Covid lockdown laws (pictured, crowds at Bronte Beach in Sydney’s east on Monday)

Targeted coastal operations were carried out Monday by highly visible police patrols in Bondi, Manly and other areas to ensure social distancing was observed (pictured, police on bicycles conduct Covid compliance patrols in Bondi)

Targeted coastal operations were carried out Monday by highly visible police patrols in Bondi, Manly and other areas to ensure social distancing was observed (pictured, police on bicycles conduct Covid compliance patrols in Bondi)

“I can’t believe the good folks at Fairfield have responded with an A plus and the people of the Eastern Suburbs seem to think Covid won’t infect them,” he told the paper. Daily Telegram.

“It’s like they live on another planet. Not only is it selfish, but it is arrogance of the highest order.”

But Waverley Mayor Paula Masselos says she’s had enough of all the Bondi bashing and says most people are just trying to do their daily essential exercise lawfully.

“We only cover an area of ​​only 8 square kilometers and we have 75,000 people,” she told Nine News.

“So we’re very densely populated and our open spaces are where people go to recreate.”

Residents of the eastern suburbs flocked to the beaches for their daily dose of exercise this weekend, as Bondi (pictured) and Manly were captured with hundreds of people outside

Residents of the eastern suburbs flocked to the beaches for their daily dose of exercise this weekend, as Bondi (pictured) and Manly were captured with hundreds of people outside

Police are pictured talking to a young mother and her child on Sydney's Bondi Beach

Police are pictured talking to a young mother and her child on Sydney’s Bondi Beach

Former federal deputy medical officer Nick Coatsworth said he is not concerned about the crowded scenes seen on beaches, citing a low risk of transmission.

“I had no problem with what we saw over the weekend,” he told the Today show on Monday.

But dr. Coatsworth said the risk of transmitting the virus during outdoor exercise was much lower than in a packed stadium with fans at a sports game or concert.

Thousands of AFL and rugby fans were ordered to remain in isolation for 14 days after being considered close contacts of an infected case during separate matches in Melbourne in recent days.

“I think we should be moderate on this. Of course, the Delta species broadcasts outdoors, but only in very close conditions,” said Dr. Coatsworth.

‘There was a Trans music festival in the Netherlands, of course 20,000 people in the area who listened to dance music and in that kind of situation you can of course get broadcasts.

“But if you pass someone during your morning exercise, that’s no problem.”

But dr. Coatsworth said the scenes in Bondi and Manly over the weekend should not be compared to other parts of Sydney.

“If people want to exercise in Sydney’s south-west, the eastern suburbs or the north, they’re more than entitled to it,” he added.

“I think the risk of transmission outside the home is of course exceptionally low and as long as people follow the rules as set by the NSW government it doesn’t matter where they are in Sydney.

“They should be able to follow those rules and I’m sure the police will show leniency when they remind people what those restrictions actually are.”

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