Sydney Beachgoers Continue To Ignore Social Distancing Rules
It appears that some places in the northern parts of Sydney’s beaches are crowded as usual, with hundreds of people enjoying the sun while the rest of the country is following the coronavirus lockdown guidelines.
On April 3, sidewalks were filled with people walking, jogging, and numerous surfers were taken pictures of in the waters of Manly beach.
Many were following the recommended social distancing rules, but others appeared to go about their day as normal, completely disregarding the guidelines.
This comes as many of Sydney’s beaches had to be closed after large groups of people kept on ignoring social distancing rules.
In New South Wales leaving your home without a “reasonable excuse” could get you a hefty fine of up to $11,000 and/or half a year in jail.
At the moment there are a total of 16 reasonable excuses you can have for leaving your house, including shopping for food, going to work, donating blood, exercise, and accessing public services.
Recently New South Wales Commissioner Mick Fuller said people still seemed to have a hard time understanding what is meant by exercise.
“In terms of the new isolation powers, certainly lots of questions about exercise. I don’t get it,” he said at a press briefing, adding the government wanted the population to stay physically and psychologically strong.
“But of course if I said that it’s OK to sit on a park bench, then everyone is going to go to the park. We’re going to end up where we started. On a hot day at Bondi Beach a couple of weekends ago, one person said they were going to go for a swim and we ended up with 10,000 people.”
In Australia, gatherings of more than two are forbidden in public areas, unless they are living together or the gathering is related to an important work or study matter.
People can be given direct fines of $1000 for ignoring social distancing guidelines, while businesses can be charged up to $5000.
Mr. Fuller noted that while strict rules are in place, police officers will be discrete when issuing fines.
“Every time a police officer stops someone to ask a question you get this very innate skill of working out whether people are telling you the truth or not,” he shared with 2GB a few days ago.
“If someone says, ‘look I’m going to the chemist’ and if the chemist is over there and visible then that’s fine, we’re not a police state. Just to be clear, we’re not. But if there’s a group of people in a car, a group of young people and they say they’re going somewhere that doesn’t match up, well then they’ll get a ticket. We’ll be reasonable about this, we won’t give everyone a ticket.”
Guidelines currently placed in New South Wales will last for at least three months, but Premier Gladys Berejiklian warned people it could turn out to be much longer than that.
“The time in which these restrictions apply is completely dependent on health advice, ” she said. “I’m hoping as best case we don’t go beyond what we have now.”
“We’re in it for at least six months. Until there is a cure, until there is at least a vaccine, this crisis is something we need to deal with. All of us have to come to terms with that.
Any time a commissioner signs a health order, legally it’s for 90 days. But it could be longer or shorter.”
Do you believe stricter measures should be taken against people who break the lockdown guidelines? Let us know by joining the conversation in the comments and please share this article to spread awareness on the seriousness of the crisis we are all currently facing.