Visits to other people’s homes will be allowed under an easing of coronavirus conditions in NSW, Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced. It comes as swimmers and surfers flocked to Bondi Beach this morning when the popular tourist spot reopened.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced an easing of some coronavirus restrictions at the same time as popular Sydney beaches reopened.
It comes as the state recorded five new COVID-19 cases in a 24-hour window that saw more than 4000 people tested.
A seventh person from Anglicare’s Newmarch aged care facility in western Sydney died overnight, bringing NSW’s death toll to 37.
CONDITIONS TO EASE
NSW residents will soon be able to visit friends and family under new changes announced by the premier as the state’s death toll climbs despite the number of new infections continuing to slow.
The premier has loosened social distancing restrictions, announcing that two adults – and children – will now be allowed to visit other people.
Ms Berejiklian has announced that from Friday lockdown rules around visitations will be lifted – allowing elderly people, those with mental health challenges and other vulnerable groups to socialise.
“From May 1, on Friday, two adults will be able to go and visit anybody else in their home on the basis of care, on the basis of reducing socialisation and everybody’s mental health,” she said.
“We know that for many people, they’ve been cooped up in their homes for a number of weeks, and with the exception of exercising, medical needs or buying what they need to or going to work, many people have been isolated in their homes.”
Children will be allowed to join adults visiting those in need but the premier has urged people to be vigilant if visiting those aged over 70.
The premier has also flagged that more retail stores will reopen as schools return to school on May 11.
CELEBS HIT BEACH AS BONDI, BRONTE REOPEN
Beaches at Bondi and Bronte were opened for swimmers and surfers today for the first time in more than a month after social distancing measures were ignored.
NRL Immortal Andrew ‘Joey’ Johns and his son Louis, 9, were among the surfers up bright and early.
The NSW Origin star, 45, who has been critical of the NSW Government’s decision to close the beaches, ran from his beachside Bronte home with a board under his arm to meet nine-year-old Louis in the water.
Joey ripped through the surf catching wave after wave, before getting out at 9am.
He told The Daily Telegraph he was spending the day with his family, and ran straight to his daughter Alice and yoga instructor partner Kate Kendall after his surf.
Meanwhile celebrity chef Matt Moran also went for an early morning dip at the beach swimming in the stunning Bogey Hole natural pool.
At Bondi, surfers struggled to understand the new rules of only walking down a gazetted corridor of sand.
Around 20 surfers waited for the gates to open to Bondi Beach at 7am but many had been jumping the fencing from 6am surfers to get in the water and catch a wave.
More than 50 surfers were in the water within half an hour of the beach opening.
Under the new rules, enforced by Waverley Council, swimmers and surfers are allowed in the water for exercise from 7am to 5pm.
The beach has been divided into two sections with surfers having to enter from the south end of the beach and swimmers on the north end.
Waverley Council is enforcing a strict ‘Surf & Go’ and ‘Swim & Go’ policy and social distancing measures are being enforced.
Waverley head lifeguard Bruce Watkins told The Daily Telegraph most people had abided by the rules so far.
“There’s a lot of people with smiles on their faces. They seem happy they can get in and have a swim,” Mr Watkins said.
Mr Watkins said council rangers were keeping a close eye on social distancing at Bondi, Bronte and Tamarama.
Mayor Paula Masselos says the tough measures are a necessary evil, with Waverley continuing to have the highest number of infections in the state.
“Access to the water will be between the hours of 7am and 5pm on weekdays via designated
entry and exit points managed by Council Rangers and are designed only for surfers and
swimmers for exercise. The Council will, however, review these measures on an ongoing basis, including whether to provide access on weekends.”