Council has taken the extraordinary step of closing some Gold Coast beaches after thousands of people ignored social distancing rules on the weekend.
Beaches at The Spit, Surfers Paradise and Coolangatta will shut from midnight on Tuesday.
The remainder of the city’s beaches will stay open for people to exercise, swim or surf, but Council says it won’t hesitate to close more beaches if people continue to flout the rules.
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Mayor Tom Tate says he had no other choice, pointing the finger at non-locals.
“Unfortunately over the weekend, out-of-towners are descending on the Gold Coast in mass numbers and I fear that this number will increase over the Easter weekend,” Mayor Tate said.
“I say to Logan and Brisbane people, we love you, but we don’t want you visiting us right now.”
Council closed the car park at The Spit after hundreds of people flocked there on Saturday.
But that didn’t stop people going there on Sunday, with barricades to be set up to prevent it happening again.
“We are working through the finer details now, including having parking officers redeployed to The Spit to monitor illegal parking.”
Mayor Tate says limiting the spread of COVID-19 is the number one priority.
“I don’t want to do this but over the weekend shows me that, especially people visiting from Brisbane are not listening to us.”
The Mayor held discussions with senior Police, confirming that they even considered doing Police checks on the northern Gold Coast to stop non-essential travel to the city.
But that’s been ruled out for now.
Council is urging people from out of town not to come to the Gold Coast, especially over the Easter break.
“When we ask people to stay in their suburb, it means don’t come and stay on the Gold Coast.
“It’s happening and my heart feels for people in hospitality, but if we don’t do it, the longer term effect will be more devastation for our city.
Coolangatta Beach will be closed from Greenmount Point to the Coolangatta Groyne.
Surfers Paradise will be closed from Clifford St Tower 33 to South Narrowneck Tower 37 adjacent to Higman St.
And the Spit will be closed from Tower 42 Adjacent to Seaworld to the Rock Wall adjacent to Tower 46.
Police are warning that Gold Coast beaches will be heavily patrolled over the long weekend.
Commissioner Katarina Carroll says officers will be conducting checks to ensure people on the beach are locals.
“That’s very easy to monitor, if you’ve got people living on the beach, in the units, there’d be a form of ID so that’s very easy to monitor, in fact it should only be for those people in that local area to enjoy those local beaches and use it for exercise.”