Australian News

Can you sit down at the park?

For anyone stuck inside, heading outside can be a welcome relief.

But if you want to get some fresh air or sit in the sun for a few minutes, can you stop at a park bench?

The short answer is no.

The problem is with plenty of people stopping at the same time, the park ends up with 50 people in it.

NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said there were a lot of what ifs, like if you were exercising, which is still allowed in all states in Australia.

Asked whether a mother and kids could sit on the grass in the park and let them crawl and run around, Mr Fuller told the Today show that could count as exercise.

“But again, the problem is, I guess if everyone went down to the park at the same time it becomes a complicating factor,” he said.

“But do the kids have it or do you have it without symptoms and you are spreading it to someone else who comes in contact with your kids – and I know there is a lot of what ifs in this space, that’s why I’ve asked police to continue to show high levels of discretion.

“And I think they have been doing such a wonderful job with that regardless of some of the reporting.”

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He said sunbaking in a park or hitting the beach would “deserve a ticket”.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian was asking asked a similar question this morning.

Asked if a pregnant woman could hypothetically sit on a park bench, the Premier said they would be encouraged to move on.

“Obviously, what we’re asking people to do – especially vulnerable people – is move through,” she said.

“You shouldn’t be stationary. You shouldn’t be sitting anywhere – especially if 50 people might be social distancing, but if they’re all sitting in a park, that’s not acceptable.

“That’s why police have had to act.”

Health authorities will be focusing on Sydney’s east from today, where there has been a cluster of positive coronavirus cases from backpackers.

There are 2182 cases in NSW among 4711 across the country.

“We have to remain vigilant,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“Do not look at the number of cases that are up or down in a day. We’re still controlling and containing the spread.

“This virus is virulent. It spreads really, really quickly and very unfortunately too effectively, and therefore we have to maintain our vigilance. We can’t let our foot off the pedal, we can’t relax.”

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