Surf Coast Shire Council has closed beaches, and a number of access roads and car parks to help prevent people gathering as Victoria’s COVID-19 pandemic worsens.
Council has acted in partnership with the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee and in liaison with the Victorian Government in making the difficult decision.
About 100 signs advising ‘Beach closed’ are now in place between Torquay and Lorne.
Road closed signs are also in place at:
- Point Addis Road
- Bells Beach main car park
- Bells Beach Southside car park
- Surf Beach Road, Torquay
- Point Impossible car park
Council has also updated a variable message board on Anglesea Road to include beach closure advice for drivers entering the shire from Geelong Ring Road.
The action is in line with the strong advice of Premier Daniel Andrews and Victoria’s Chief Health Officer that people who can stay home, must stay home.
“Council has acted in the interest of public health following evidence of large gatherings of people at a number of beaches in the shire on Saturday,” Chief Executive Officer Keith Baillie said.
“The Premier stressed that people must not gather on Victoria’s beaches, yet people chose to do otherwise.
“It is essential that we follow the advice of the Victorian Government and Chief Health Officer, by discouraging people from gathering and urging them to stay home.
“Staying home will save lives.”
The closures prevent people from gathering and sitting on beaches.
People will still be able to surf, swim, run, walk or exercise dogs, provided they strictly observe physical distancing rules and do not gather.
The beach closures follow other infection minimisation measures taken by Council including preventing user groups from holding gatherings of people in or on Council-owned or managed facilities and land.
All golf courses in Surf Coast Shire are also now closed.
Council became aware on Saturday morning of COVID-19-related signs on local beaches, bearing Council and State Government logos.
Council did not create or install the signs.
Officers have removed seven of the signs from between Jan Juc and Point Addis and are continuing to monitor against others being posted.