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'Idiots': Fury at packed Melbourne beaches

3 weeks ago 16

Thousands flocked to beaches in Melbourne yesterday to enjoy the sun despite a desperate plea from Victorian Premier, sparking outrage.

Staff writers August 29, 2020 1:54PM


Last updated August 30, 2020 8:21AM AEST

A sunny winter day has proved too tempting for the thousands of Melbourne locals who flocked to the beach yesterday despite a desperate plea from Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews to stay inside.   

The premier issued not one but two pleas to those in stage 4 lockdown yesterday but it appears to have fallen on deaf ears. 

Footage and photos shared online shows a packed St Kilda, filled with people not wearing masks and “gathered in groups”. 

Temperatures peaked at 20 degrees, a situation Mr Andrews had described as “disappointing” as the day opened over fears it may lure people out of lockdown

During yesterday’s press conference to discuss virus numbers he again addressed residents, urging them to “do the right thing”. 

“Today is a beautiful sunny day and I just say to people, we want to get to the other side of this and allow people to enjoy all the things that Melbourne and Victoria is famous for,” Mr Andrews said.

“No-one today, please, please, don’t be doing anything today that would undermine this strategy.

“Please don’t do anything, don’t make any choices that would contribute to the spread of this virus.”

There were a lot idiots without wearing a mask arround the populated #StKilda Beach yesterday.
Some gathered in groups, drinking and some with the masks left around their necks .
There were no signs of any #VicPolice around there.#auspol #vicpol #covid_19 #coronavirus

— Med (@Medicayy) August 29, 2020

But his words did little to stop people heading outside. One Twitter user shared a photo of a “populated St Kilda Beach”, claiming there were no police present.

“There were a lot idiots without wearing a mask around the populated #StKilda Beach yesterday,” he wrote. “Some gathered in groups, drinking and some with the masks left around their necks.” 

Victoria recorded 94 new virus cases yesterday and 18 deaths, taking the toll to 514 in the state. 

Live Updates

Rebekah Scanlan

A school in Sydney’s west has been closed after NSW Health confirmed it had been exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 case.

St Paul's Catholic College in Greystanes, near Parramatta, is being deep cleaned and students have been told to self-isolate while contact tracing occurs.

The school will remain closed to students and staff tomorrow as NSW Health work to identify close contacts of the new case.

"Health and wellbeing are our priority as we respond to COVID-19," the Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta said in a statement shared on Facebook.

"(The) Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta will keep the community updated, including about when the school will reopen."

Rebekah Scanlan

Four teenagers have been charged after NSW Police were called to a “large party” at a home in Western Sydney in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Police were called to the home in Lethbridge Park around 12.30am after reports of fighting and found a gathering of approximately 100 people allegedly in breach of NSW COVID-19 restrictions.

Currently in the state gatherings in homes are not allowed to exceed 20 people.

When police attempted to break up the party, a number of teenagers surrounded the officers and became abusive and violent towards them, police allege.

A 17-year-old girl and three teenage boys, aged 13, 16 and 17, were arrested and taken to Mount Druitt Police Station.

All four were refused bail.

Rebekah Scanlan

People are outraged after footage of Melbourne beaches flooded with people has emerged – despite pleas from the state's premier Daniel Andrews yesterday.

Social media has erupted, with many criticising the residents who are still in stage 4 lockdown for being outside.

Footage captured by 9 News shows people sprawled on the sand, lapping up the sunshine, while others gathered in groups, some with their compulsory masks pulled down around their necks.

"How is this real life?" one frustrated person wrote on Twitter, adding Victoria Police were "moving on those doing the wrong thing".

Others commented on the situation, writing "we're all doomed. 3rd wave".

But some defended those who had headed outside stating: "To expect them to stay cooped up at home on a beautiful day is not reasonable nor is it feasible."

Rohan Smith

Aussie comedian Ash Williams has made a name for himself during the pandemic, bringing the lighter side to coverage of Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews' daily press conferences.

The video, uploaded to Twitter this afternoon, speaks for itself. Enjoy.

Lexie Cartwright

A popular gym in Sydney which is already linked to six confirmed cases of the coronavirus is being investigated for additional cases.

NSW Health has extended its public health warning for the City Tattersalls Club on Pitt street in the CBD.

“These cases attended the centre during the past few days, while unknowingly infectious and after being exposed to infections in the gym,” a NSW Health department statement read.

Members who attended the gym on the following dates have been urged to get tested for COVID-19 and self-isolate for 14 days.

Wednesday 19 August between 8am – 2pmFriday 21 August between 8am – 2pm, including: Aqua Aerobics from 10am-10.45am, Stretch Class from 11am – 11.50am and Pump Class from 12.15pm – 1pmSunday 23 August between 8am – 2pmMonday 24 August between 8am – 2pmTuesday 25 August between 8am – 2pm

The Andrews government has had a breakthrough on being able to extend Victoria’s state of emergency beyond September 14.

The Age reports the Andrews government has struck a deal with state MPs to extend for another 12 months its power to declare states of emergency, which it has been using every four weeks throughout the pandemic.

The newspaper reports a deal has been hammered out with crossbench MPs in the upper house, giving the government a one-off extension which will last six months.

Stephanie Bedo

Australia’s chief nursing and midwifery officer Alison McMillan has spoken this afternoon, revealing there has been more than six million COVID-19 tests carried out in the country.

She urged people not to wait to get tested.

"We are seeing some signs where people are waiting a few days before they get tested. Please don’t do that," she said.

"We need to remain vigilant and do the right thing."

Stephanie Bedo

The number of coronavirus cases at the Frankston Hospital in Victoria have increased to 68 – an rise of 10 from earlier this week.

Three wards at the hospital will stop taking patients after 618 workers were forced into isolation because of the cluster.

Meanwhile, Peninsula Healthcare worker has made shocking allegations to the Frankston Standard Leader, saying she was still told to work after coming into close contact with a colleague who had tested positive for the virus.

Peninsula Health did not answer Leader’s questions in response to allegations from the healthcare worker.

Stephanie Bedo

No news is good news in this pandemic but it's still with noting what's what.

There have been no new cases in the ACT today, after 711 tests were conducted. It is their 50th-straight day with no new cases. Go ACT!

There have also been no new cases in WA and South Australia.

There are nine active COVID-19 cases in the state – six Western Australians and three from interstate.

There is one active case in South Australia. 

Stephanie Bedo

New Zealand has recorded 13 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours.

Six of the cases are in Counties Manukau, two in Auckland and three in Waitematā.

The remaining two cases were in managed isolation and quarantine.

Ten are clearly epidemiologically linked to the Auckland cluster, the Ministry of Health said in a statement today.

It means there are now 133 cases linked to the Auckland cluster and 18 to the Mt Roskill "mini-cluster".

New Zealand's previous biggest cluster, a Bluff wedding, stood at 98.

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