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Bar Beach restrictions relaxed

Photo by Iain Dawson: Bar Beach, Merimbula, autumn 2019

Photo by Iain Dawson: Bar Beach, Merimbula, autumn 2019

Tuesday, 5 May 2020

The Bega Valley Local Emergency Management Committee has today removed restrictions on accessing Bar Beach at Merimbula.

The car park to the popular spot was closed on April 13 following concerns raised by the local community and officers from South Coast Police District.

At the time health advice connected to the COVID-19/Coronavirus crises was being disrespected and placing the community at risk.

“My officers are now confident that attitudes have changed and that the importance of physical distancing and restrictions on group gatherings are better understood,” says NSW Police Chief Inspector Peter Volf.

“I know some people were put out and offended by the action we had to take, but our focus is always on what is best for the whole community.

“Working with the community, the various agencies informing this process have had great success in curbing the spread of the virus locally.

“That is something we can all be thankful for. Thank you to everyone who has played their part,” he says.

People still need to follow the health advice and stay up to date during this evolving response.

The need for physical distancing remains, which means staying 1.5 metres apart. Hand hygiene practises should continue and restrictions on the size of groups remains, which means gatherings in a public place are limited to two people.

You must stay at home, unless you are going to:

  • Work (where you can’t work remotely)
  • School or an educational institution
  • Shop for food or other goods and services
  • Medical reason or caring for others
  • Exercise.

You can also leave home to visit another household, provided the visitors include no more than 2 adults and their dependant children, physical distancing still applies.

For updated advice check the NSW Health website.

“This is a challenging time for everyone in the community, working together we can and will get through this and get back to the life we all want to live sooner,” Chief Inspector says.

“Given the cooperation we’ve seen across the region I don’t see a need to close other areas or restrict people anymore than they already are at the moment.

“However, police patrols of popular locations are ongoing, officers will be talking to members of the public to share advice and answer questions, and we will respond if needed.”

The Bega Valley Local Emergency Management Committee is made up of a range of response agencies including Bega Valley Shire Council, NSW Health, NSW Police, NSW Disaster Welfare.


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