Sydney beaches shut down again

 

The message about people going to the beach remains clear - no large crowds, maintain safe distances and don't laze about on the sand.

But it seems hordes of Sydneysiders still aren't getting it, with three popular beaches forced to close today due to breaches of the coronavirus safety measures.

Large stretches of coast have been effectively closed for weeks now, after images of hundreds of people gathering at Bondi and Manly in the first days of bans on outdoor gatherings sparked outrage and concern.

But just as some of the most popular spots reopened to swimmers and surfers only, lifeguards and police had to shut down three other Sydney beaches before 1pm today.

 

Swimmers are ordered from the water by police at Clovelly Beach. Picture: Getty Images
Swimmers are ordered from the water by police at Clovelly Beach. Picture: Getty Images

 

The shark alarm at Maroubra Beach was sounded and people were told to leave the sand and promenade because too many were ignoring social distancing rules.

When some refused to budge, lifeguards had to call police.

It came an hour after lifeguards at Coogee Beach also told people to go home, with a Randwick Council spokesperson telling The Daily Telegraph there were too many on the sand.

"We found that there were lots of kids and families paddling at the shoreline, which increased numbers on the sand," they told the newspaper.

"We really need for people to get to the beach, do their exercise then leave."

Maroubra Beach today was packed with people.
Maroubra Beach today was packed with people.

 

According to the paper, one man ignored the instructions and jumped a barrier, before running to the water and knocking over a sign advising of the beach closure.

He was spoken to by responding police.

And finally, police were called to Clovelly Beach to deal with large crowds before making the call to shut it down.

Authorities have warned that if social distancing measures can't be followed, they won't hesitate to shut down beaches once again.

"We hope people go down there and exercise, have a swim, then dry off and go home, and really give someone else the opportunity to go down to the beach," NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said.

Police said they will monitor beaches this weekend to ensure the rules are being followed.


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