‘Everybody out’: Manly beach closed
Several beaches in Sydney's northern suburbs have been closed by NSW police after a large number of people descended on them earlier today.
Northern Beaches Council confirmed on Facebook that Manly, North Steyne, Queenscliff, Freshwater and Palm Beach had all been closed as a result of residents failing to follow social distancing rules imposed by the Federal Government.
Photographs show residents of the northern Sydney suburb brazenly defying the rules enforced to control the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
As a result, many have taken to Twitter to share news of the closure which comes two weeks after Bondi was shut down.
All of a sudden its very quiet at Manly beach pic.twitter.com/jeFwyc7K5F— Steveo (@StephenThomasC2) April 5, 2020
Manly Beach, Shelly Beach, including the promenade have just been officially closed. #manly— Helena Wentworth-Fisher (@HelenaTemperton) April 5, 2020
While some said it was "about time" the beach was closed, others were clearly frustrated by the decision.
Photos taken earlier this morning show sidewalks packed with people and groups of more than two going in the water off Manly beach as temperatures went above 24 degrees.
Some walkers and joggers appeared to follow the 1.5m social distancing rule as others seemed to completely disregard it.
In Cronulla, rangers were forced to move people along this morning after they disregarded the rules to lay on the beach and sit down to takeaway coffees.
While in Sydney's eastern suburbs, police were spotted yelling from the rocks at swimmers in the water near Clovelly.
A news.com.au reporter overheard one shouting back: "Why do we have to get out?!"
At Bondi, one man was arrested after being spotted on the beach by a lifeguard about 9am this morning.
While NSW Police have yet to confirm whether this was in relation to COVID-19 rules, images show a group of officers taking the man into custody on the famous beachfront.
The man appeared to be the only person at the otherwise deserted Australian landmark.
Last month Bondi Beach was closed after hundreds of people descended on the popular Sydney hangout. Authorities blasted the behaviour, calling it "irresponsible" while the federal government responded by introducing fines for those who were caught leaving their house without a "reasonable excuse".
The NSW Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement Order 2020) makes it unlawful to leave your place of residence unless it's for an essential purpose - obtaining groceries, exercising, medical or compassionate care, and working or studying that cannot be done from home.
Fines for breaking these rules can be as much as $11,000 and can even result in six months jail time.
Other states and territories have released their acceptable reasons for leaving the house, which can excuse people from hefty fines. Queensland's list includes attending a court date, and the ACT and Victoria appears to have the strictest measures, with only four and five acceptable excuses.
Yesterday, similar scenes emerged in Brisbane when residents flocked to a popular farmers' markets on Saturday morning.
Large crowds were photographed attending the Jan Powers Powerhouse Farmers' Markets in the inner-city suburb of New Farm, with a number of attendees reportedly defying the 1.5m rules imposed by the Federal Government.
The organisers of the weekly market in Brisbane sent out instructions on Facebook on Friday saying the event would be going ahead but would be adhering to the rules by "putting in all precautions in regard to COVID-19".
However after the brazen disregard for the 1.5m rule occurred, one passer-by told the Courier-Mail the situation was "insane".
Originally published as 'Everybody out': Manly beach closed