A number of coronavirus warnings have been issued as people pack beaches to celebrate Australia Day.
Sydney remains in the middle of a heatwave and on Tuesday it reached 34 degrees at 11am, according to the Bureau of Meteorology. Other parts of the city have already surpassed 36.
With people looking to escape the heat, many have flocked to the city’s beaches.
But local councils are concerned beachgoers might not adhere to social distancing rules.
Waverley Council, which includes Bondi, called for people to remember the rules to stop the spread of coronavirus.
“This Australia Day, we urge the community to not be complacent about Covid-19,” it tweeted.
“Remember to maintain social distancing, check in with businesses, wear a mask on public transport, wash your hands and get tested if you have any symptoms.”
Balmoral Beach, Sydney. Oh no, da COVID in da sand. pic.twitter.com/llMdqqq5oz
— DeeCee (@DeeCee451) January 25, 2021
Mosman Council, which includes Balmoral Beach, echoed the sentiment and wrote on Facebook on Australia Day beaches are “near capacity”.
“Please avoid these areas and check our beach status page later today for any further updates,” it wrote.
“Help Mosman stay safe by rethinking your trip to the beach during peak times, avoiding large crowds, maintaining physical distancing and hand hygiene and don't forget to stay sun smart and water safe too.”
Beach car parks fill up early in the day
LiveTrafficSydney tweeted car parks at Balmoral, Wattamolla, Garie, Chinamans and Clifton Gardens Reserve beaches already have all their car parks at full capacity.
One Twitter user claimed there was no parking at Balmoral when they arrived at 6.30am.
NSW Health reported no new cases of Covid-19 within the past 24 hours. It means the state hasn’t had a new case in nine days.
But testing remains “a concern”, the health department said citing only 7,819 tests had been conducted in the past 24 hours.
#AUSTRALIADAY2021 // A view from the @Lifesaverhelo across some of the most #crowded #beaches in #Sydney right now. Make sure you stay up-to-date with all the latest information on conditions and crowds on the https://t.co/KBef2Q22oc or App.
📷 Freshwater Coogee & Cronulla pic.twitter.com/DcrdWBD6pv
— Surf Life Saving NSW (@slsnsw) January 26, 2021
Photos spark concerns ‘Covid cluster on the way’
On Twitter, people shared photos of the beaches already beginning to fill up from the early hours of Tuesday morning.
Scores of people were seen setting up at Balmoral Beach at 9am, which already appeared crowded.
One man called the scenes a “super spreading event”.
On Facebook, people hoped the crowded beaches wouldn’t lead to an outbreak.
“Covid cluster on the way,” one woman wrote.
One man added that scenes like these were “why Queensland still has closed borders” to NSW.
“It’s a great day for it,” another man wrote.
“If they don’t adhere to Covid-19 social gathering guidelines though, then they deserve to face the full force of the law.”
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