As Australia continues to flatten the curve and beat COVID-19, states are gradually lifting lockdown measures. Sydney’s famed Bondi Beach is among the first public places set to reopen. By Upasana Singh

The iconic Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia is all set to reopen after almost six weeks. The must-visit destination for surfers was shut down after thousands of people were seen gathering on the beach, during warm weather, and ignoring authorities’ advice and rules of social distancing. However, next week onward, the beach will be open for the public albeit with some strict restrictions.

 

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As reported by Times of India, in an official statement, Mayor of Waverley, Paula Masselos said that only two access points will be opened for the locals to return to the ocean from April 28. The fenced corridors are meant to provide safe access into the water for swim-and-go and surf-and-go, i.e., two forms of exercise in the water. She further added that the “sand is closed,” thereby banning all form of activities, such as walking, jogging, running, gathering, sunbathing, and bringing kids to play in the sand.

The Waverley Council voted to relax restrictions during the lockdown so that swimmers can get back into the water. The northern end of the beach is set to be reserved for swimmers, while the southern end will be for surfers. Similar plans will be implemented at neighbouring Bronte Beach and Tamarama Beach.

 

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The Bondi region with all its white-sand beaches was closed off in late March as the number of Coronavirus cases continued to increase in Australia. The region was also identified as a “hotspot” after around 180 people including backpackers and residents were diagnosed with the virus. Health authorities had to set up a pop-up testing clinic in light of this development. Non-residents were requested not to visit Bondi.

With the news of the famous beach set to reopen, the mayor has informed people to operate within social distancing and public health order rules. If the rules are not followed and a large number of people gather at the beach, risking the chances of getting the virus, the beach will be closed again.

 

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After observing positive progress in the fight against COVID-19, some of the other prominent beaches in Sydney such as Coogee and Maroubra have been opened again for the public from April 27. Although loudspeaker announcements continue to warn swimmers and surfers to abide by social distancing norms.

Related: Half Of The World’s Beaches Could Disappear By The End Of This Century