Some Australian beaches will partially reopen starting April 28 with new “Swim & Go” and “Surf & Go” policies at Bondi and Bronte beaches and a “Surf & Go” policy at Tamarama Beach.
The decision was announced by Waverly Mayor Paula Masselos in collaboration with the New South Wales Minister for Health and Research, Brad Hazzard.
The new policy is meant to provide a way for surfers and experienced ocean swimmers to get their exercise safely.
However, the strict rules surrounding physical distancing remain in effect.
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The “Swim & Go” and “Surf & Go” measures are exclusively for exercise purposes for surfers and swimmers between the hours of 7 am and 5 pm on weekdays beginning April 28.
“The Council will review these measures on an ongoing basis, including whether to provide access on weekends,” a post on the Waverley government website explains.
Mayor Masselos also emphasized that this does not mean that the beaches are officially reopened to everyone. They will remain closed for all “land-based activities,” including sunbathing, social gatherings, walking, or jogging.
“Access to the water will be via designated entry and exit points managed by Council Rangers and are designed only for surfers and experienced ocean swimmers,” Masselos explains in the post.
“The sand remains strictly off-limits other than for access to the water for exercising. If social distancing rules can’t be followed, then this access to the water will be shut down.”
Masselos also reminds residents that the New South Wales Public Health Order to stay home still applies and that the new measures are only for local residents to exercise.
People will be allowed to surf at Tamarama and Mackenzies Bay. However, the beach will remain off-limits to swimmers. Any beach-related activities are also not permitted.
Additionally, as the names “Swim & Go” and “Surf & Go” imply, ocean swimmers and surfers will be required to exit the water as soon as they finish with their exercise. From there, they must return home.
“This is consistent with our messaging around exercise, which is stay at home where possible, and if you must exercise outdoors, please observe all restrictions,” Masselos explained.
Lifeguards will also continue to patrol Bronte, Bondi, and Tamarama beaches to provide protection for those swimming and surfing during the designated hours.