Our Open Space COVID-19 Management Plan aims to provide the framework for Council to effectively manage our diverse open spaces in a way that supports safe and responsible community use, which adheres to Public Health Orders (PHO) and directives from lead government agencies. This plan will be regularly reviewed and updated to ensure it remains responsive to changing directives from government health authorities and impacts of COVID-19.
Under the current PHO no more than 20 people can gather outside in a public place. Public places include beaches, public parks, reserves, gardens and spaces.
Sutherland Shire Council is encouraging members of the public to stay COVID Safe when visiting local public spaces and time their visit to avoid periods of peak demand.
In particular Sutherland Shire Council Public Safety and Lifeguards personnel continue to work with NSW Police to manage crowd numbers across patrolled beaches and ensure that social distancing is maintained in the interests of public safety.
All beachgoers are reminded of the need to stay socially distanced, observe limits on gathering numbers, follow directions from our lifeguards and other authorities and respect those who are working to keep our community safe this summer.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Are the beaches open?
Council will leverage the recent NSW Government COVID Safe Summer Plan directive, encouraging all beachgoers to ‘keep a towel length’, supporting a 1.5 metre distancing rule, between other visitors who are not from the same household.
On unpatrolled beaches, as with all other public spaces, Council is calling on all members of the public to take an active role in maintaining social distance and observing limits on gathering numbers in the interests of community safety.
If numbers reach near or at capacity, Council may need to limit or temporarily close access which will be communicated via our website and official Facebook page.
Will NSW Police and/or lifeguards be responsible for enforcing social distancing between groups?
In the undesirable case that beachgoers do not respect the directives of lifeguards and COVID Safe measures, Council will work with NSW Police to take further necessary action, which may include beach closures if essential.
Will I be asked to leave the beach if beach access is closed?
Under the current restrictions, Council is required to monitor crowd numbers to ensure compliance with the relevant PHOs and health advice. If the beach becomes too busy, we may need to restrict entry, but people on the sand will be allowed to remain. Closing the beaches is a last resort for Council and we would prefer not to ask people to leave the sand, we may however ask people to consider limiting their time at the beach so that everyone has a chance to enjoy it.
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