The kind of morning that would usually see an empty beach and point, but these aren’t usual times. Although it’s shut, there were plenty of people in the water at Dee Why when I grabbed the pictures. Waves looked to be in the waist high range and very junky. Wind was 13-17kts from the SSE while out at sea a 14-15 sec period 1.4 metre south swell. Tide was just hitting the high at 0815 as I wrote this.
Just so you know, I’ve included the latest information from Council about beach closures and guidance about what you can and can’t do.
Remember, every time you leave home, you’re increasing your risk of picking up the virus and becoming a threat to everyone you know. Maintain distance, wash your hands frequently, avoid contact with frequently touched surfaces and don’t touch your face.
Northern Beaches Council Notice
Closed beach: what can I do?
Please see some commonly asked questions about the beach closures:
Why are we closing the beaches at the moment?
Beaches may be closed for a number of reasons:
- To prevent people gathering in hotpot areas such as Manly and Dee Why
- Under direction from NSW Police
- Due to large gatherings of people or people ignoring social distancing rules
- Due to dangerous surf conditions or shark sightings.
How do I know if the beach is closed?
There will be closed signs on the beach and updated on the Beach page on our website. View the status of each beach
What does a beach closure mean in the COVID-19 environment?
Our aim is to reduce the numbers of people coming to the beaches and spending hours swimming, sun baking and picnicking. The message is to get your exercise done and leave the area.
With that in mind we have closed the beach in the same way as they are when traditionally closed for dangerous conditions. People are asked not to swim and there are no flagged areas to provide water safety.
Can I still surf if the beach is closed?
The beaches are closed – there will be no flags so any activity in the water is at your own risk.
Can I still exercise on the sand on a closed beach?
You can use the sand area for exercise only and you must adhere to social distancing and gathering rules. When finished exercise you must leave the beach. Rangers and lifeguards will move people on if they hang around.
Will you fine people in the water?
If people disobey a direction from the police they may face fines. We are asking people to cooperate for the safety of our community.
Can’t I do my normal swim and just get in and out?
We understand this is a difficult time and we haven’t made these decisions lightly. There are a number of alternative beaches which remain open at this stage. We ask your cooperation for the safety of our whole community.
What about a scuba dive at Cabbage Tree Bay?
The beaches are closed to swimming at present from Shelly to Queenscliff beaches. This includes scuba diving.
Is fishing classed as exercise?
The NSW Sports Minister has said fishing is permitted if social distancing and gathering rules are followed.
Why are you not closing the beach to all people?
At this stage we are trying to strike a balance between allowing people to exercise as per the Prime Minister’s direction and preventing the spread of the virus.
How will Council be policing the closures?
We are asking people to cooperate for the safety of all our community. Rangers, police and lifeguards are asking people to move on if they are hanging around and not using the beach for exercise.
Shelly to Queenscliff beaches and Dee Why are now closed – will you close others?
All beaches are being closely monitored and more closures will occur if people do not abide by the rules.
What about the promenades and reserves next to the closed beaches?
They remain open at this stage for exercising only and with social distancing rules in place. They are being monitored and will also be closed if necessary.
Why haven’t you closed all the other beaches? Won’t people go to them instead?
Manly and Dee Why have been identified as of particular concern for community transmission. We are closely monitoring other beaches which will also be closed if people breach social distancing or gathering rules. In addition, new 1hr parking restrictions are in place in all beach car parks to help move people on quickly.
Do the closures include boardwalks and parks nearby?
These remain open, for exercise only, and people need to abide by social distancing and gathering rules. You will be asked to move on if you are hanging around.
Why have you introduced 1hr parking at beach car parks?
This is to reduce the time people are spending on our beaches, to encourage people to do their exercise and move off home. The restrictions will be reviewed after Easter long weekend. The 1-hour parking restriction applies to all people including those who hold Northern beaches parking stickers.
What should I do if I see people not following the rules?
We are asking people to cooperate and do the right thing on a closed beach for the health of our whole community.
Police, rangers and lifeguards will be talking to people on the beach to raise awareness about the rules and asking them to move on if they are loitering. We are also doing on beach announcements.
We understand some people won’t cooperate. If they are ignoring social distancing and gathering rules they face large fines from NSW police. People can report this to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000
How long are the current beach closures in place?
They will be reviewed after the Easter long weekend.
A high pressure system over the Bight is extending a ridge across New South Wales, directing south to southeasterly winds along the coast. Winds are expected to slowly shift easterly then northeasterly by the end of the week, as the high pressure system slowly drifts over the Tasman Sea. A strong cold front is forecast to cross New South Wales later Friday and during Saturday, strengthening winds over coastal waters and bringing a south to southwesterly change to the region.
Forecast for Wednesday until midnight
Southeasterly 10 to 15 knots turning southerly during the afternoon and evening.
1 to 1.5 metres.
Southerly 1 to 1.5 metres inshore, increasing to 1.5 to 2 metres offshore.
Cloudy. 80% chance of showers. The chance of a thunderstorm.
Thursday 9 April
Southerly 15 to 20 knots turning east to southeasterly below 10 knots during the day.
1 to 1.5 metres, decreasing to 1 metre by early evening.
Southerly 1 to 1.5 metres, decreasing to around 1 metre during the morning.
Partly cloudy. 80% chance of showers.
Friday 10 April
Variable about 10 knots becoming northerly 15 to 20 knots during the morning then tending northwesterly during the evening.
Around 1 metre, increasing to 1 to 1.5 metres offshore during the afternoon.
Southerly around 1 metre.
Partly cloudy. 60% chance of showers. The chance of a thunderstorm in the afternoon and evening.