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Bondi Beach closes after crowds defy virus rules

Video Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on March 21, 2020 - Duration: 01:14s

Bondi Beach closes after crowds defy virus rules

Australian officials closed Sydney's iconic Bondi Beach on Saturday after thousands of people flocked there in recent days, defying social distancing orders.

Ciara Lee reports

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Bondi Beach closes after crowds defy virus rules

Australia's iconic Bondi Beach was deserted on Saturday (March 21) after officials were forced to close it Thousands of people flocked there in recent days, defying social distancing orders to prevent the spread of the coronavirus New South Wales state Police Minister David Elliot says it will be the new norm if people fail to comply.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) NEW SOUTH WALES STATE POLICE MINISTER DAVID ELLIOTT, SAYING:"What we saw this morning here on Bondi Beach was the most irresponsible behaviour of individuals that we've seen so far.

We cannot have an active area of community activity where more than 500 people are gathered.

That is exactly what these laws, these regulations under the Health Act have been forced to ensure we comply with.

This is not something that we're doing because we're the fun police, this is not something the government is doing because we want to make life easy, this is about saving lives." Police say lifeguards who patrol the state's many beaches will conduct regular head counts and will close beaches if too many people gather in one location Australia has imposed stricter rules on socialising in recent days.

Over a thousand virus cases have been confirmed in Australia as of Saturday.

The death toll remained at seven.

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