Hundreds of surfers are back in the water at Bondi on the first morning since the beach was closed five weeks ago due to COVID-19 restrictions.
From Tuesday, people are permitted to swim or surf at Bondi and Bronte – and surf only at Tamarama – between 7am and 5pm on weekdays.
Access to the water is via designated entry and exit points and the sand remains out of bounds for sunbakers.
Waverley Council mayor Paula Masselos said Bondi Beach was busier than usual for 7am but believed people were doing the right thing.
“So far I’ve been really delighted at how the corridors are working,” Ms Masselos told AAP.
Ms Masselos hasn’t visited Bronte Beach yet but expected a similar number of patrons.
People surf as Bondi Beach reopens to surfers and swimmers after it was closed to curb the spread of #COVID19, with strict social distancing measures remaining in place, in Sydney, Australia | via Loren Elliott, @Reuters pic.twitter.com/djd6IxE0G6
— ABS-CBN News (@ABSCBNNews) April 28, 2020
Surfer Scott Heappey said there were lots of surfers out in the water at Bondi but noticed people were observing social distancing.
“There’s plenty of people but everyone’s staying nice and spread out,” Mr Heappey told AAP.
“It’s really nice to be back in the water.
“I come down here three times a day. That’s my exercise and that’s what I do.”
— Andrew Denney (@Andrew_Denney) April 27, 2020
Waverley Council has stressed the beaches remain closed given Bondi remains the district with the highest number of COVID-19 cases in Australia.
The mayor said “swim and go” and “surf and go” measures were strictly for Waverley residents and people shouldn’t drive to the beaches from further afield.
All of Randwick City Council’s beaches will again reopen from Tuesday without any time restrictions while those in Dee Why, Freshwater and Manly, under the Northern Beaches Council, remain closed.