Gold Coast beaches will be patrolled by police now the city has closed three popular swimming areas to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Surfers Paradise, The Spit, and Coolangatta beaches will close from midnight Tuesday to deter Brisbane day-trippers, in harsh restrictions handed down by Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate.
“I didn’t want to do this, but over the weekend shows me that especially people visiting from Brisbane are not listening to us,” Tate said on Monday.
“I say to Logan and Brisbane people—we love you, but we don’t want you to visit us right now.”
Locals will still have access to nearly 50 km of beach that remain open to exercise but must adhere to social distancing.
Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll warned that police will patrol all beaches for people travelling from elsewhere.
“The Gold Coast Council has shut a number of its beaches. This will be heavily patrolled this weekend,” Carroll said on Monday.
“But not only those beaches, all of the beaches as we go into Easter weekend.”
Tate warned more of the Gold Coast’s 21 beaches will close if people continue to ignore the advice from health authorities.
“The curve is flattening, this is not the time relax, it’s time to kill it off,” Tate said.
He said the closure was a reluctant decision he was forced to make to protect the community.
“For us to win this fight against COVID-19, we are in it together,” Tate said.
Car parks will be barricaded off to stop beach access, and parking officers will be deployed to monitor illegal parking while the closed beaches will be patrolled by authorities.
Coolangatta Beach will be closed from Greenmount Point to the Coolangatta Groyne.
Surfers Paradise will be closed from Clifford St lifeguard tower 33 to South Narrowneck tower 37 adjacent to Higman St.
And The Spit will be closed from tower 42 adjacent to Sea World to the Rock Wall adjacent to tower 46.
By Robyn Wuth and Nicholas McElroy