Sydney beaches inundated with crowds of beachgoers, sparking virus concerns

At Sydney ‘s famous Coogee beach, police are telling sunseekers to move on, with the local council saying warm weather has seen the place get too busy, raising fears about social distance in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

A whopping 15,000 was an unverified estimate of the tourists at Coogee Beach and surrounding parks and reserves as temperatures hit 24C.

“The first warm weekend and people are flocking to the beaches,” a Randwick City Council spokeswoman said.

“It is quite busy down there.”

She said signs reminding beachgoers to socially distance had been erected “everywhere” but police were needed to disperse the crowd.

“Lifeguards don’t have the legislative powers to kick people off the beaches,” she explained.

A spokesman for NSW Police said officers had also responded to crowding problems at Clovelly, Little Bay and Gordons Bay, where 50-60 people had a gathering.

People are ordered to move on, and no fines are imposed yet, he said.

A spokeswoman for the Waverley Council said 3000-4000 people had come to Bondi and that although it seemed crowded from some angles, drone footage showed people behaving well.

“We’re hoping this continues,” she said.

The lifeguard manager of the council, Matt du Plessis, said that people were told to keep the distance of one beach towel from each other and that they all followed, which was contrary to March when the pandemic took place.

“It’s actually been really great – everybody’s abiding health orders,” Mr du Plessis said.

“It’s been a long winter … I think now everyone understands.

“We want to keep our beaches open.

“I think it will be a great summer. It’s up to individuals to do the right thing.”

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