'Some People Are Just Stupid': Hundreds Still Flock To Aussie Beach Shut Down Over Coronavirus Fears
Authorities have again had to blast hundreds of people who turned up to a Sydney beach, despite it being closed to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
All beaches in Sydney's eastern suburbs were closed on Sunday, including Bondi, Tamarama, Maroubra, and Coogee.
But that does not appear to have stopped some beachgoers, who are ignoring health advice to avoid large public gatherings and socially distance -- both important measures to slow the spread of COVID-19.
NSW Police Minister David Elliot said about 450 people showed up at Bondi Beach on Sunday morning, and will be told to leave.
"We are not doing this because we are the fun police. We don't close these public spaces because we want to punish people," Elliott told Channel 7.
Some people are just stupid and want to take the risk. Some people think they are above the law.
On Saturday, Elliott announced beaches across the state that fail to comply with the government's outdoor gathering restrictions will be closed.
He said surf lifesavers would work with councils and police to ensure no more than 500 people gathered, and that any beachgoers who did not comply would be removed.
"This is about saving lives," he said.
The move was prompted by images of people cramming on to Bondi Beach on Friday, attracting widespread condemnation around the world.
"If you are breaking these rules you are putting, not just yourself, but you are putting other Australians at risk," Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said on Saturday.
Waverley Council responded by closing all three of its popular beaches -- Bondi, Tamarama and Bronte.
The beaches will remain closed until further notice as the council works out how to deal with the new restrictions, local Mayor Paula Masselos said.
Randwick Council also closed its beaches on Sunday.
"Given the sunny weather forecast of 27 degrees for Sunday, it is highly likely that beach numbers will exceed the 500 person cap," Randwick Mayor Danny Said said on Saturday.
"For everybody's own health, I urge people not to come to the beach on Sunday as you are potentially putting your health and the health of others at risk."
NSW on Saturday had recorded 83 new COVID-19 cases within 24 hours, with the state total reaching 436.
The state's health minister Brad Hazzard spoke directly to young people, urging them to take the virus threat seriously.
"It's a serious matter. Save yourself and save your family," he said.
Many other health authorities have heeded a similar message, including World Health Organistion (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesu who warned young people they "are not invincible".
"This virus could put you in hospital for weeks, or even kill you," he said at a media briefing.
"Even if you don't get sick, the choices you make about where you go could be the difference between life and death for someone else."