Stay safe in Waverley this weekend

26  November 2020

With temperatures set to soar in Sydney this weekend, Waverley Council is encouraging anyone considering visiting our public places to plan their trip and observe all current Public Health Orders (PHOs) in place which still limit outdoor gatherings to 30 people.

Matt du Plessis, Manager, Lifeguard Services and Beach Safety, said the Council will be managing numbers at Waverley’s three beaches in line with Council’s Summer 2020-21 Outdoor Public Spaces Operational Management Plan.

Matt du Plessis, Manager, Lifeguard Services and Beach Safety and Bruce Hopkins, Lifeguard Coordinator, are encouraging people to plan ahead this weekend.

The purpose of the plan is to help Council manage beaches and open spaces in a COVID-safe way and in line with PHOs and health advice. It includes managing access to the beaches if crowds begin to reach capacity, and working with a range of agencies to encourage people to visit other public spaces or facilities as numbers approach safe limits.

“As we’ve said these past few months, this is not going to be a normal summer, and with temperatures forecast to reach 29 degrees on Saturday in Bondi and 33 degrees on Sunday for the last weekend of spring, people should check our website and social media channels for up-to-the minute information about how busy our beaches are,” Mr du Plessis said.

“We also encourage visitors to keep a look out for advisory messages at bus stops, train stations and on major roads.

“If you intend to use our beaches, parks and outdoor spaces and they look busy, please come back another time or use that time to visit one of our many local businesses- they need your support.

“We will be making sure our beaches don’t get too crowded and that everyone can enjoy our beautiful public spaces safely. If we do reach capacity, then access to the sand will be restricted until numbers stabilise so that everyone has a turn.

“Most importantly, if you are feeling unwell, please stay at home and get tested, and remain in isolation until you receive a negative result. The Bondi Beach drive in pop up clinic is operating at Bondi Beach between 9.00 am and 5.00 pm seven days a week.”

Beach Ambassadors and other Council staff will be monitoring beach numbers this weekend and are available to help people use our public places safely.

“Our beach ambassadors are there to help inform the community about the latest PHOs and health advice, so do say hello to the team in bright blue shirts if you are visiting our area,” Mr du Plessis said.

“If you intend to use our beaches, parks and outdoor spaces and they look busy, please reconsider your trip and come back another time when it is less busy.

“Our community and visitors have all worked hard to ensure our community has remained safe during this time of pandemic and all of us at Council are appreciative of their efforts.

“This is going to be an especially challenging summer, and although some restrictions in NSW are easing, limits on outdoor public gatherings still apply as does the health advice about social distancing by 1.5 metres or a towel-length apart unless you are from the same household.”

Council also reminds visitors that Bondi, Tamarama and Bronte beaches, coastal parks and public streets are alcohol-free zones which means alcohol is not permitted to be consumed in these areas.

Rangers work closely with the Police to ensure the restrictions are observed and to help keep everyone safe.

For a safe summer, always remember to:

  • Stay at least one towel-length apart from others unless from the same household
  • Limit outdoor gatherings to a maximum of 30 people
  • Wear a mask when appropriate
  • Wash your hands / use hand sanitiser
  • Stay home if unwell
  • Get tested
  • Follow instructions from Lifeguards, Rangers, Beach Ambassadors and the police

Surf and weather conditions can also change at any moment, so Waverley Council Lifeguards recommend that beachgoers:

  • Always swim between the red and yellow flags, never swim outside them
  • Do not swim directly after a meal or if under the influence of alcohol
  • Only swim when the red and yellow flags are flying. If there are no flags, the beach is closed or unpatrolled
  • Do not panic if caught in a current or undertow. Raise one arm into the air to signal for lifeguard assistance. Float until help arrives
  • Do not struggle if seized with a cramp. Raise your arm for help and float. Keep the part of your body that is cramping perfectly still
  • Do not swim if unsure of surf conditions. Always seek the advice of a lifeguard or lifesaver
  • Do not struggle against a rip or current. Swim diagonally across it.


Media inquiries: or 0416 075 532

Link to Council’s Summer 2020-21 Outdoor Public Spaces Operational Management Plan