REVEALED: Bondi Beach could soon reopen for surfing and exercise after locals complained about not being able to go for a swim
- A proposal is being discussed by Waverley Council to reopen Bondi Beach
- The beach has been close for a month after crowds failed to heed warnings
- A number of coronavirus clusters have sprang up in the area related to travellers
- In the meantime Waverley Council are adamant the Bondi Beach remains closed
- Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID
Sydney’s iconic Bondi Beach could soon reopen following a wave of anger from locals.
The famous beach has been closed since March 21 after large crowds failed to heed social distancing regulations put in place by the Australian Government to slow the spread of coronavirus.
But it now appears surfers and swimmers may be able to get back in the water as discussions take place between the Waverley Council and the area’s surf life saving clubs.
Beachgoers are seen at Bondi Beach despite the threat of Coronavirus in Sydney, Friday, March 20, 2020. The following day the famous break was closed
A police officer asks couple to move on while patrolling Bondi Beach during the Easter Long Weekend on Sunday, April 12, 2020
North Bondi Surf Life Saving Club president Andrew Christopher told the Sydney Morning Herald, the proposal would not allow sunbathers or lingering groups.
Instead, the trial scheme would ease the restrictions for beachgoers looking to exercise.
‘The surfers are of the view that it’s no different than going on a jog in Centennial Park,’ Mr Christopher said.
At the moment a number of early-morning surfers are flaunting the rules and climbing over the fencing which has been erected to keep beachgoers out.
Mr Christopher said, by permitting people to use the beach at certain times, this would put an end to the trespassing.
Although the fence is expected to remain in place, the trial will see the north and south end of the beach reopen so that live savers can monitor the number of people coming in.
A number of early-morning surfers are flaunting the rules and climbing over the fencing which has been erected to keep beachgoers out. Pictured: A surfer at the neighboring Bronte Beach ignoring the no access warning on April 13, 2020
If the proposal proves successful at Bondi it’s expected the trial will be extended to the area’s neighbouring beaches. Pictured: A surfer at Bronte Beach scaling the fence and ignoring the no access warning on April 13, 2020
‘You trial those hours and if it works, and people aren’t abusing the privilege, you could gradually extend it,’ Mr Christopher said.
‘We’re not saying it should be open slather.’
Mr Christopher said if the proposal proves successful, it could then be introduced to surrounding beaches in the eastern suburbs including Bronte and Tamarama.
But not everyone is in favour of the proposal.
‘Waverley has been one of the COVID-19 hotspots in the country … if we’re going to be serious about lockdown and controlling the virus, we can’t open our beaches,’ Tamarama Surf Life Saving Club President Tim Murray said.
‘I want to go for a swim … but this has wrecked people’s lives, they’ve lost jobs, and I can give up a swim to make sure this is successful.’
The Bondi area has been one of Australia’s coronavirus epicenters with the total number of cases reaching 111 after a series of clusters broke out.
New South Wales Health even set up a pop-up testing facility to deal with the number of backpackers who contracted the deadly virus.
Medics perform COVID-19 tests on a member of the public at a drive-through COVID-19 testing center on Bondi Beach in Sydney on April 11, 2020
A lone surfer stands on Bondi Beach on March 22, 2020 after the famous break was closed to slow the spread of coronaivirus
Waverley Council are set to make a decision on the matter within the coming days.
‘Council expects to advise the community in the near future as to whether a relaxation of restrictions is possible and, if so, what the likely time frame for such a relaxation would be,’ a spokesperson said.
In the meantime, the spokesperson was adamant the beaches remain closed and anyone caught trespassing could be fined.