Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has criticised thousands of maskless Melburnians flocking to the city’s beaches as the state battles its way out of coronavirus lockdown.
The state reported eight new cases on Saturday with three deaths.
The goal is to have a fortnight of five cases or less, and those five or less need to be traceable, before further restrictions can be eased.
Mr Andrews anticipates this possible by October 19 if everyone continues to follow the Covid rules.
However, on Saturday the premier warned Victorians that might not happen after scenes captured by 7News on Friday showed hundreds of people at St Kilda beach.
Others were seen at Williamstown and Port Melbourne - although some may have just been enjoying two hours of exercise. Many weren’t seen wearing masks.
Mr Andrews told reporters the scenes were “disappointing” and urged Victorians to stay the course to reduce cases.
“It has made a lot of people very angry, I think, that they are doing the right thing. They are because they can see just how close we are,” he said.
“Spending time at the beach without a mask, without social distancing now will just mean that you won't get to go to the beach for all of summer.
“It just doesn't make any sense. So please, my message to every single Victorian, we are so close.”
They're the pictures that have health authorities on edge tonight - thousands of mask-free Melburnians flocking to beaches ahead of our warmest weekend in seven months. https://t.co/5zYfOfohG3 @paul_dowsley #7NEWS pic.twitter.com/0dLPhFf4IE— 7NEWS Melbourne (@7NewsMelbourne) October 2, 2020
Mr Andrews added Victoria is working towards a “coronavirus-normal Christmas and 2021”.
“Let's not jeopardise that by some of the behaviour that we saw last night,” the premier said.
The video was also re-tweeted by Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton who urged people to “hold the line”.
“Don’t risk everything. What we can hold back now means a truly normal summer,” Dr Sutton tweeted.
Other people echoed his criticism.
One man tweeted those at the beach doing the wrong thing were “awful” and “ruining all our hard work”.
“I'm honestly teary watching this,” one woman tweeted.
Another woman called for all of them to be fined.
“It's really hard to watch how so many selfish people are undermining what most have worked hard to achieve in Melbourne,” another man tweeted.
Victoria Police said on Saturday it had issued 82 fines for people breaching Covid-19 rules including 13 for people not wearing face masks in public.
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