WARNING: A SLS Queensland COVID-19 alert sign at Noosa Main Beach. Photo: Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images
WARNING: A SLS Queensland COVID-19 alert sign at Noosa Main Beach. Photo: Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images

Warning to abide by beach rules after national park closures

NOOSA MP Sandy Bolton has called on locals to abide by social distancing in public places after it was announced national parks and walking tracks would be closed from Friday.

“This is sadly due to people still travelling from other areas to visit and people continuing to congregate in groups,” Ms Bolton said.

“Yes hard, however we do have other areas to enjoy for our exercise, and I ask everyone to work to make sure these are not closed down due to the behaviour of some.”

“The message? Focus on what we have, and report anyone putting remaining areas at risk of closure to our police.”

Locally the closures include Noosa National Park, Laguna Lookout, Cooloola Recreation Area, Teewah Beach, and Double Island Point.

Ms Bolton said Queensland Police Service were working with Queensland Parks and Wildlife to install a large message board at the entry to Hastings Street and Moorindil Street to alert people to the closures.

Meanwhile beaches remain open only for exercise and Ms Bolton warns they too will close if people do not abide by the rules.

“QPS met with Noosa Surf Lifesaving (on Thursday). Our lifeguards will be making announcements over the PA daily that the beach is for exercise only – no sunbaking or ‘lounging’,” she said.

“Signage is now up across Noosa Main Beach, Noosa Woods and Noosa River.

“If crowds begin to swell and ignore lifeguards, QPS will attend and direct people away with beach closures a last resort if directives are not abided by.”

Police are also working with backpackers and hostels to make sure the message is being understood.

“A concerted effort between QPS, local businesses and the LDMG has been undertaken to ensure that backpackers whom are caught here and prevented from heading to their next destination due to the ‘lock down’ are receiving the relevant information they need,” Ms Bolton said.

“Many hostels have reduced occupancy so are better able to comply with physical distancing and other rules.”

Tourism Noosa CEO Melanie Anderson said it was difficult to see Noosa virtually “shut down” but it was important everyone stayed home.

“This means for our accommodation operators that they cannot take on holiday visitors or people just needing a beach break at this point in time,” Ms Anderson said.

“While there are some exemptions to that such as extreme cases, front line nurses and doctors that are quarantining from family due to their work and people that are displaced from closed caravan parks or backpacker hostels, these are unprecedented times and is the time for everyone to comply with Government regulations and laws.”

“There is no doubt that this Easter period will be completely different to any Easter we have had previously but as tough as it is right now, everyone must do what they can so we can get on top of COVID-19 and stop the virus.”

More on Queensland's public health directions here.