A popular Melbourne beach has been closed after hundreds of people broke social-distancing rules and gathered on the shore on Friday afternoon.
Police arrived at St Kilda beach and escorted people away from the area, officially closing it at 6pm.
Hundreds of people were seen at beaches in Melbourne enjoying the 28C weather on Friday – flouting rules designed to stop the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
Meanwhile at the same time Manly Beach, on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, was flooded with hundreds of joggers, cyclists, surfers and sunbathers.
A popular Melbourne beach has been closed after hundreds of people broke social-distancing rules and gathered on the shore on Friday afternoon
Police arrived at St Kilda beach (pictured) and escorted people away from the area, officially closing it at 6pm
Hundreds of people were seen at beaches in Melbourne enjoying the 28C weather on Friday – flouting rules designed to stop the spread of the deadly coronavirus
Beachgoers are seen at Bondi Beach last Friday, March 21 despite the threat of coronavirus, leading to the temporary closure of the beach
Crowds are seen on Bondi Beach last Friday ahead of its closure to prevent the spread of the coronavirus
The government has been urging Australians to stay home as much as possible and avoid busy areas to slow the spread of the virus, however, Manly residents still flocked to the beach (pictured)
Despite clear instructions to remain at home as much as possible and avoid crowded areas to slow the spread of the virus, people were spotted clustered together.
Former Married at First Sight star and Manly resident Dean Wells also shared footage of the area flooded with visitors throughout the day.
‘Literally thousands of people around,’ he wrote in a post on Instagram.
The shocking footage comes as Australia’s coronavirus cases skyrocket to 3,112, with 13 people killed and the economy brought to a shuddering halt.
Bondi Beach was locked down this week after thousands of sun seekers descended on the tourist hotspot over the weekend.
Sunbathers ignored 1.5metre social distancing guidelines on Friday and Saturday as they lay together on the sand and helped each other apply sunscreen.
People were seen flouting social distancing rules designed to stop the spread of coronavirus
Beachgoers were seen openly flouting social-distancing rules at St Kilda Beach on Friday despite a global coronavirus pandemic
Despite the clear instructions to remain at home as much as possible and avoid crowded areas to slow the spread of the virus, many people were spotted clustered together
CORONAVIRUS CASES IN AUSTRALIA: 3,168
New South Wales: 1,405
South Australia: 257
Western Australia: 255
Australian Capital Territory: 62
Northern Territory: 13
TOTAL CASES: 3,168
Pictures of crowds soon emerged on Instagram showing a lack of concern for social distancing rules, with many of the young sun-worshippers even making jokes about the virus.
The government has been urging everyone to keep at least 1.5m apart to slow the spread of the deadly virus.
Extreme measures have been brought in as the number of cases continues to rise, including a travel ban, as well as a ban on mass gatherings.
Melbourne radio host Tom Elliott said he was concerned that the ‘message isn’t getting through’ after Prime Minister Scott Morrison told Australians to stop gathering in large groups.
June, a caller to 3AW radio, said she was ‘absolutely disgusted’ at the actions of people at the beach on Friday where groups of up to 15 were seen in close proximity.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews had threatened to close beaches if social distancing rules were broken.
‘No one has to go to the beach. I have closed the pubs, because no one goes to the pubs. If I have to close the beaches, I will,’ he said.
Further restrictions on travel and movement have been put in to place as the federal government works to tackle the spread of COVID-19
All libraries, museums, galleries, beauty salons, tattoo parlours, shopping centre food courts, auctions, open houses, amusement parks, arcades, indoor and outdoor play centres, swimming pools are closed and indoor exercise activities are now banned
Exercising outdoors alone is still permitted. Australia has more than 3000 confirmed cases of COVID-19
Restaurants and cafes are restricted to providing takeaway only. Weddings will now be restricted to five people including the couple while funerals are limited to 10 mourners to stop the spread of coronavirus
Swedish tourist Amanda Ottosson, 21, said her and her three friends aren’t sick, so they have no problem going to the beach.
‘If hairdressers and cafes stay open, why should the beaches shut down? People are way closer in those places,’ she told the Herald Sun.
Melbourne resident Leo, 62, said beaches in the city needed to be closed.
‘People are not getting what is going on. They need to see what is happening in Italy and America,’ he said.
‘They think ”I am young and OK” – they don’t get it. It is most probably right to close the beach.’
People were seen breaking social-distancing rules at St Kilda Beach in Melbourne on Friday afternoon
AUSTRALIA’S ‘STAGE TWO’ COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS
The government is looking to limit interactions between groups, particularly any event or gathering with 10 or more people.
The new restrictions, from 11.59pm on March 25, mean:
* Food courts in shopping centres will only be available for takeaway food. No sitting.
* Auction houses will shut. Auctions and open house inspections are banned.
* Outdoor and indoor markets are banned while rules around major food markets will be addressed by states and territories.
* Personal services such as beauty therapy, tanning, waxing, nail salons, spas and tattoo parlours (but not physiotherapy) are banned.
* Hairdressers and barbers can continue but must strictly manage social distancing
* Amusement parks and arcades, and indoor and outdoor play centres must close.
* Boot camps and personal training must be limited to 10 people and enforce social distancing.
* Social sports such as large groups of people playing soccer in a park are banned.
* Galleries, museums, libraries, youth centres, community halls, clubs, RSLs and swimming pools must close.
* Weddings can continue to be conducted where it is just the couple the celebrant and two witnesses, no more than five people.
* Funerals are limited to no more than 10 people – but with some exceptions granted by states and territories.
* It is safe to send children to school up to the end of the term.
* But some pupil-free days will be needed to plan distance learning.
* Schools will reopen after the term break with a mix of distance learning and in-school learning for all “essential workers”.
* PM to meet with teachers and other sector representatives about keeping schools open and protecting staff.
* Everyone who still has a job is an essential worker.
* The official “do no travel” warning is now an outright ban on overseas travel, with some exceptions such as aid workers and compassionate travel.
* New offence of profiteering and seeking to export goods overseas, relating to such things as medical supplies and masks.