Police are warning people they will start dishing out fines for breaching social distancing rules on Gold Coast beaches if people continue to flout the rules.
While there’s been a noticeable drop in people at beaches, and less evidence of people gathering in large groups, a small number of people continue to sunbathe on the beach.
There’s been mass confusion about what people can and can’t do, but Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Jeanette Young explicitly ruled sunbathing out.
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She says exercising on the beach was fine as long as there’s no more than two people, but lying in the sun was not.
“So to go for a walk, or a run, but not to go and sun bake on the local beach, that’s not exercise,” Dr Young said on Wednesday.
Surfing and swimming is also allowed.
Chief Superintendent Mark Wheeler says they hope beachgoers will do the right thing and will talk to people first, but they’re prepared to take strong action if they don’t.
“We want to communicate with the community, we want them to do this of their own volition,” Chief Superintendent Wheeler said.
“But, at the end of the day, we have to make sure compliance occurs and unfortunately to get people to comply, if that means issuing infringement notices, that’s the level we will get to.”
The fine for breaching social distancing rules in $1334.
“It’s not something we want to do, but if we have to change people’s behaviour by using that method we will,” Chief Superintendent Wheeler said.
“The reality is, if you’re outside and one of the essential reasons to be outside is to go and exercise.
“People who are laying on on the beach all day sun baking, that is not exercise.”
The Mayor and the Premier have repeatedly warned people that they would close beaches if they continued to break the rules.
“Going to the beach with all of your mates is not on,” the Premier told The Today Show on Thursday morning.
“We’ve seen strong action about this in Victoria and New South Wales and I tell you what, mayors will not hesitate to take that strong action in Queensland as well, so final warning everyone.”