The true story behind 'worrying' pictures from Sydney beaches

Ash Cant
·4-min read

As people flocked to Sydney’s eastern beaches to soak up the sun on Sunday, council was satisfied the crowd adhered to coronavirus social distancing rules despite published photos suggesting otherwise.

The warm weather lured Sydneysiders to the beach over the weekend, and while some shots taken from the ground may have caused some alarm, aerial images show people were maintaining social distancing.

Nine News compared shots from the ground and aerial shots of Bondi and Bronte beaches to illustrate some photos can be deceiving.

In a photo taken on the ground with a long lens people appear to be sitting close together, but viewed from the air it can be seen people are well spaced along the beach.

While images on the ground may look like people were flouting social distancing measures, the reality is, most people were keeping a safe distance. Source: Nine News
While images on the ground may look like people were flouting social distancing measures, the reality is, most people were keeping a safe distance. Source: Nine News

In a media statement, Waverley Council, the jurisdiction where Bondi and Bronte beaches are located, said council rangers and beach ambassadors who were patrolling the sand, parks and promenade were pleased with the social distancing.

Council also said police patrolling the beaches were satisfied with people adhering to social distancing measures.

“Waverley Council was pleased with visitor behaviour today at our beaches and parks,” council said.

“The majority of people were social distancing by 1.5 metres apart and did not gather in groups of more than 20 as per the current public health orders.

Drone footage of Bondi Beach shows people were adhering to social distancing measures on Sunday. Source: Waverley Council
Drone footage of Bondi Beach shows people were adhering to social distancing measures on Sunday. Source: Waverley Council

“The numbers on the sand at our beaches complied with the four square metre rule.

“3pm was the peak time at Bondi Beach and visitors complied with the four square metre rule.”

The council reminded the public there is still a pandemic, and the behaviour needs to adapt to the reality.

It gently urged people to avoid public places if they appear busy and to either come back another time, or grab a coffee or some food to support local businesses to evade the crowds.

Crowds are seen at Bondi Beach, Sydney as warm weather returned for last weekend of August. Source: AAP
Crowds are seen at Bondi Beach on Sunday as warm weather returned to the east coast for the last weekend of August. Source: AAP

Urgent warning for Sydney commuters as cluster grows

While revellers enjoyed the 26-degree heat on Sunday, NSW recorded seven new coronavirus cases as clusters in the CBD continue to grow, prompting an urgent warning from authorities.

Commuters who were on the same Sydney bus route as two confirmed COVID-19 cases have been told to immediately self-isolate until midnight September 3 and get a coronavirus test, regardless of symptoms.

Passengers on the X39 bus that left Pitt Street opposite Australia Square at 6.08pm on August 20 and arrived at Randwick's Clovelly Road at Carrington Road at 6.40pm are considered close contacts.

A previously reported case linked to Sydney's CBD cluster took the bus as did a second passenger who was confirmed as having the virus on Friday.

The City Tattersalls gym in the Sydney CBD is now linked to 29 cases and anyone who was at the gym between 8am and 2pm on August 19, 21, 23, 24 and 25 are now considered close contacts and must isolate themselves and get tested immediately.

Anyone who used the weights room at Fitness First in Randwick on August 23 from 3.30pm until 4.15pm are also considered close contacts of a previously confirmed cases and should also isolate for 14 days from the 23rd and get tested.

People who were at Highfield Caringbah pub for more than two hours from 6pm to 8.30pm on August 22 are being urged to get tested and immediately self-isolate, while patrons who were there for less than two hours are being asked to monitor symptoms.

A staff member at a child care centre, who shares a home with a close contact linked to the growing CBD cluster has tested positive, prompting the facility to close.

Reddam Early Learning Centre in Lindfield has been closed after a staff member tested positive for the coronavirus. Source: Google Maps
Reddam Early Learning Centre in Lindfield has been closed after a staff member tested positive for the coronavirus. Source: Google Maps

Reddam Early Learning Centre at Lindfield has been closed for cleaning, after the staff member unknowingly worked for three days from August 25 until 27 while infectious.

The staff member will be counted in Monday’s figures, NSW Health said on Sunday.

with AAP

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