I would like to congratulate the Waverley community for embracing our strict ‘Swim & Go’ and ‘Surf & Go’ measures at our beaches.

Our Council is delighted to be able to provide access to the water at our beaches for the sole purpose of swimming and surfing/surfcraft for exercising and we need the community to observe our strict measures and social distancing for this access to continue. So far that has been the case, so thank you to everyone who has done the right thing.

There was great excitement this morning at our beaches as we provided access to the water for the first time since 21 March. The beaches were abuzz with happy swimmers and surfers this morning when I was at both Bondi and Bronte to see the access corridors in action. I do, however, want to reiterate that Waverley Council has NOT reopened its beaches. Our strict ‘Swim & Go’ and ‘Surf & Go’ measures at Bondi and Bronte beaches and ‘Surf & Go’ measures at Tamarama Beach provide a safe way for local surfers and swimmers to exercise safely in the water. Paddling in the water and playing on the shore line are strictly prohibited.

Our beaches remain closed to all land-based activities including social gatherings, sunbaking, walking and jogging. There will also be no relaxing or gathering around on the sand. The sand remains strictly off-limits other than for access to the water for exercising.

Currently, access to the water will be between the hours of 7am and 5pm on weekdays via designated entry and exit points managed by Council staff and are designed only for surfers/surfcraft users and swimmers for exercise. These corridors have been working very well today and the community are observing instructions from Council lifeguards, rangers, ambassadors and contractors who are working hard to keep the community safe.

We will continue to assess our strict ‘Swim & Go’ and ‘Surf & Go’ measures including the possibility of opening access to the water on weekends. Remember, Waverley is still regarded as a COVID-19 hot spot, and we will continue to take advice from NSW Health and the Police with regards to access at our beaches.

I want to remind the community that the red and yellow flags will not be up as our beaches remained closed and people enter the water at their own risk. This is not the time to bring your family down for a frolick in the waves.

And as the term ‘Swim & Go’ and ‘Surf & Go’ suggests, surfers and swimmers must exit the water as soon as they finish exercising and return home. This is consistent with our messaging around exercise, which is stay at home where possible, and if you must exercise outdoors, please observe all restrictions.

Again, our measures have a strong emphasis on social distancing and if the community does not adhere to the conditions of these measures or follow the instructions of our Rangers or Lifeguards, then the Council will have no choice but to remove access to the water.

We are counting on the community to do the right thing so that we can continue to provide safe access to the water for exercising. It is good to see that so far they are.

Paula Masselos
Mayor of Waverley