Bass Coast beaches closed for Easter
Bass Coast Shire Council and Phillip Island Nature Parks have made the decision to close all Bass Coast beaches to the public over the Easter break.
This follows strong advice from Bass Coast Health that with additional people in the community over Easter, the local health network would be unable to respond to the impacts of a COVID-19 outbreak in our community.
The closure will impact every beach in the Shire from 11.59pm Thursday, 9 April until 11.59pm Monday, 13 April. During these times, there will be no access for anyone, to any beach, under any circumstance. This includes exercising on the beach – running, surfing, walking and swimming.
Bass Coast Council CEO, Ali Wastie said that Bass Coast does not have an intensive care facility, with Bass Coast Health only equipped to respond to local demand.
“On behalf of the local community - please stay home for Easter and only leave your primary place of residence for food shopping, medical reasons, exercise and work or education if you can't do these from home,” Ms Wastie said.
“It was a difficult decision to make, but an essential one in order to support our health network and protect our community. Stay home. Protect the health system. Save lives.”
Ms Wastie said, thanks to Bass Coast’s incredible beaches and coastlines, the Shire would normally welcome up to 70,000 visitors over the Easter period.
“Our visitors and non-permanent residents make a significant contribution to our community and economy and we respect and value all those who call Bass Coast their second home or favourite place to visit,” Ms Wastie said.
“When all of this is over, we will welcome everyone back with open arms, but until then, we are asking you to please stay home.
“We feel for those who have been doing the right thing, but protecting our community is paramount.
“The message from all levels of government is clear. If you can stay home, you must. Putting additional strain on rural health services is unfair, when cities and large towns are much better placed to manage an outbreak," Ms Wastie concluded.
Signage will be in place informing people of beach closures.
People are encouraged to contact the Victoria Police Assistance Line 131 444 to alert authorities of potential breaches of directions, including gatherings.