Crackdown on Sydney beaches after photos spark Covid backlash

·3-min read

NSW Police are targeting Sydney beaches to ensure social distancing rules are being followed, after photos of packed beaches sparked outrage over the weekend.

Police will now "double down" on their efforts in enforcing social distancing rules, with NSW police urging the public to remember that it is a "shared responsibility".

"Police cannot be on every corner, they cannot be in every neighbourhood, but what we will do is respond to where the people are that are seemingly not taking those public-health orders seriously," NSW Police said on Monday.

A photo taken a Bondi Beach telling people to stay 1.5 metres apart due to current Covid restrictions.
NSW Police are targeting Sydney beaches to ensure compliance with "high-visibility" patrols. Source: Getty Images

"Clearly it disappoints us around the beaches, what occurred, and we will have a stronger more visible presence."

The crackdown comes after maskless crowds descended upon Sydney's coast, many seen sitting around in groups despite the current Covid restrictions and case numbers soaring.

NSW Police said in a statement on Sunday it was continuing to undertake "high visibility patrols to ensure the community is educated and complies with the new requirements of the Public Health Order".

NSW reports 98 new cases on Monday

NSW has reported another 98 new locally acquired coronavirus cases on Monday, with 20 people infectious in the community for more than one day. 

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said health authorities were still concerned by the number of people who were infectious in the community.

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Tighter restrictions introduced

People living in Greater Sydney and surrounding regions are now in the fourth week of a lockdown, with restrictions tightening over the weekend in southwest Sydney, including the Fairfield, Canterbury-Bankstown and Liverpool LGAs all under even heavier police surveillance to limit people from moving. 

The new restrictions include the ban on all construction work, the closure of non-essential retail outlets, not including supermarkets, pharmacies, banks and liquor stores.

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Sydney residents are required to carry a face mask when out of their homes and to wear them when appropriate.

Essential retail defined by NSW Health

  • Supermarkets (includes bakeries, butchers and liquor stores)

  • Health, maternity and medical stores

  • Pharmacies and chemists

  • Petrol stations

  • Car hire

  • Banks and financial institutions

  • Hardware stores

  • Agricultural and rural supply stores

  • Post offices and newsagents

  • Office supply stores

All employers will also have to allow office workers to work from home or could face $10,000 fines.

Concerning Delta variant trend

Ms Berejiklian said the Delta variant of the virus was transmitting to children more than other variants, highlighting why it is vital everyone receives a vaccination.

"That is why vaccination, in relation to the Delta strain, won't necessarily just mean adults ... it will also mean younger adolescents and younger children," she said during Monday's press conference. 

"We are aware that this is a deadly disease impacting younger people."

Dr Chant majority of the population is vaccinated it is likely more boosters would be needed in 2022.

With AAP.

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