Hundreds of beachgoers have ignored authorities and flocked to Bondi Beach just one day after it was closed to the public due to giant crowds ignoring the coronavirus social distancing guidelines.
NSW Police Minister David Elliott announced on Saturday the temporary closure of the famous tourist hot spot, condemning the people who defied the government’s social isolation advice on Friday.
Scantily clad crowds were captured bunched together on the sand and popular grass hill in what attracted global media attention and a terse response from authorities.
Despite all beaches in Sydney's eastern suburbs being closed on Sunday, a surge of swimmers were spotted pushing through boundary fences at Bondi Beach and entering the water anyway.
Lifeguards on the sand were shown speaking with swimmers, who appeared unbothered by the warning.
There was a similar scene at Maroubra beach on Sunday, where witnesses told Yahoo News Australia they saw several people “ripping tape down” to access the closed beach.
NSW Police Minister David Elliott said about 450 people who showed up at Bondi Beach today would have to be ushered away.
“By the looks of how many people we've seen this morning alone climb under those barriers, it looks like people are still not taking this seriously enough,” he told The Today Show.
“Some people are just stupid and want to take the risk. Some people think they are above the law.”
All beaches in Sydney's eastern suburbs were closed on Sunday, including Bondi, Tamarama, Maroubra and Coogee.
The tough measure was announced on Saturday after images of people cramming onto Bondi Beach on Friday showed a blatant disregard for social distancing guidelines and public health.
Regulations introduced to control the spread of the deadly virus saw outdoor gatherings of 500 people or banned.
Mr Elliott said beaches across the state that did not meet public gathering regulations would be closed and beachgoers who did not comply would be removed by police.
NSW on Saturday had recorded 83 new COVID-19 cases within 24 hours, with the state total reaching 436.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard urged young people to take the COVID-19 threat seriously, saying "the problem is just over the horizon, on the basis of the numbers that we're now seeing".
"It's a serious matter. Save yourself and save your family," Mr Hazzard told reporters on Saturday.
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