News Coronavirus Gathering bans to be enforced at Melbourne beaches

Gathering bans to be enforced at Melbourne beaches

Gathering bans are being enforced at Melbourne beaches after people continued to flock to the sands. Photo: AAP
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As the coronavirus continues to spread across Victoria, harsher measures are being put in place to stop people from gathering in large groups and leaving home unnecessarily.

Port Phillip City Council has clamped down on large groups accessing all of its beaches including the popular St Kilda Beach effective from Friday.

The council said in a statement that its beaches must not be used as gathering places, with visitors having to keep their distance from each other.

Dog walkers, swimmers and joggers will still be able to use beaches as normal, however strict social distancing rules are in place.

The beach restrictions come ahead of a sunny Saturday with Melbourne expected to reach 25 degrees.

Earlier, Premier Daniel Andrews said he would not hesitate to close beaches if people continued to disregard rules around self isolation and social distancing.

“If you can stay home, you must stay home,” Mr Andrews told reporters.

“You don’t need to be at the beach. If you choose to be at the beach then that is a choice that may cost someone their life.

“I’ve closed the pubs because no one has to go to the pubs. If I have to close the beaches, I will. Be in no doubt about that.”

The stage two measures come as it was revealed on Friday two Victorian men who died of coronavirus were cancer patients in the Alfred Hospital’s oncology ward.

The men were two of four diagnosed with the virus in the ward and passed away on Thursday.

The two other coronavirus patients remain in hospital and are in a stable condition, a spokesman from the Alfred Hospital said.

Three staff members have since tested positive for coronavirus, with others now self isolating.

The state’s cases of coronavirus rose on Friday to 574 and there have been three deaths in total.