Northern Beaches Council has released a plan to manage crowds and maximise public safety in public open places now and as restrictions ease in the coming months.
The COVID-19 Action Plan for Outdoor Public Spaces is adaptable and designed to support NSW Public Health Orders. It provides a framework for how Council will work with NSW Police, Surf Lifesaving and other authorities as the weather warms.
Based on the Plan used during summer 2021, it details proactive measures Council will implement including:
- establishing a Beach Safety Working Group with key stakeholders to deliver a coordinated response;
- activating additional flagged areas to reduce crowd density as required;
- increasing cleansing of public places;
- monitoring by rangers and lifeguards with reminders of social distancing and crowd gathering restrictions;
- ongoing review of parking restrictions;
- regular and consistent communication through onsite signage, website, lifeguard announcements and other digital and social channels.
The Plan also details how Council will apply a staged response based on actual and forecasted crowd levels at beaches, considering crowd densities calculated for each beach when social distancing restrictions are applied.
Mayor Michael Regan said while there were still a lot of unknowns heading into October and beyond, it was important to have a coordinated plan for the health and safety of the community.
“Our priority is to keep our public places like beaches, parks, playgrounds and pools open. We know who critical they are for the mental health of our residents.
“But we need to be mindful that COVID-19 is still very real threat and even as restrictions ease we need to be mindful of protecting ourselves and others.
“For now the message is mask up, sanitise, social distance, follow gathering rules and try to avoid those areas you know will be busy.
“As restrictions ease we’ll be continuing to work with Police and Surf Lifesaving to do all we can to protect the health of everyone. We also need the cooperation of the community so we can all have a great summer.”
The Northern Beaches COVID-19 Action Plan for Outdoor Public Spaces is available at here.