Drones will be used to monitor social distancing and crowd numbers at some of New South Wales’ most popular beaches this summer.
Surf Life Saving NSW President George Shales said he hopes beachgoers respect the measures ‘particularly regarding beach safety but also regarding social distancing requirements’.
More than 20 people are currently banned from gathering in public places under NSW public health orders.
Despite drones circling the busiest NSW shorelines, Director of Lifesaving Joel Wiseman said it won’t be the job of lifeguards to actively police social distancing rules.
‘Life savers are not there to police the public, that is not our job,’ he said.
Drones will be used to monitor social distancing and crowd numbers at some of New South Wales’ most popular beaches this summer. Pictured: Bondi Beach
More than 20 people are currently banned from gathering in a public place under NSW public health orders
Despite drones circling the busiest NSW shorelines, Director of Lifesaving Joel Wiseman said it won’t be life guards’ jobs to actively police social distancing rules
‘We’re there to ensure a safe aquatic swimming environment. We will obviously notify NSW Police if we have any suspicions or concerns around the numbers that are at the beaches.’
Meanwhile, hefty new fines have been announced for NSW residents caught at private gatherings of more than 20 people.
Each and every guest could cop a $1000 fine if there are more than 20 people partying together as the festive season gets under way.
NSW Police are warning that amendments have been made to the Public Health Order, with partygoers now risking hefty fines fine if the gathering exceeds the 20-person limit.
Where previously, only the organiser of a gathering was liable to receive a fine if the number of people at the premises breached the Public Health Order, every reveller will now be held responsible for the breach.
The changes, which come into effect at midnight, aim to ensure the safety of the community ahead of the expected increase in gatherings associated with Christmas and end-of-year festivities.
Operation Coronavirus Commander Assistant Commissioner Tony Crandell said on Monday it’s only natural that as the weather warms up, people will be more likely to gather.
‘These amendments aim to ensure that an increase in expected gatherings doesn’t mean an increase in COVID-19 cases,’ he said.
‘The new changes come in addition to other restrictions which remain in place, including a limit on numbers at outdoor gatherings and licensed premises.’
NSW has recorded just one new locally acquired COVID-19 case but health authorities are warning there’s no room for complacency amid lower testing rates and with school holidays due soon.
Four new cases were recorded in the 24 hours to 8pm on Sunday including three returned travellers in hotel quarantine and one linked to a known cluster.
The locally acquired case is a close contact of a previous case who attended the Eastern Suburbs Legion Club.
Each and every guest could cop a $1000 fine if there are more than 20 people partying together in NSW as the festive season gets under way
NSW Health acting director Christine Selvey said testing rates had dropped recently and urged people with the mildest symptoms to make sure they get tested.
‘Testing numbers have dropped over the past two weeks and this is a concern particularly in areas like southwestern, western and southeastern Sydney,’ she said in a video update on Monday.
More than 9300 people were tested in the latest reporting period, down from 14,426 the previous day.
Although weekend test numbers usually drop, Sunday’s figure is well below recent weekend numbers, which have been in excess of 20,000.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian implored people to not become complacent, saying every day is a battle against the virus.
‘Remember we let our guard down earlier in the year and the Victoria situation arose unexpectedly,’ she told reporters in Sydney on Monday.
She also urged other states to help ease the burden of accepting returned travellers into hotel quarantine.