The City of Cape Town has announced that it will be closing beaches as from tomorrow morning, 24 March 2020, to limit public contact. Photo: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)
The City of Cape Town has announced that it will be closing beaches as from tomorrow morning, 24 March 2020, to limit public contact. Photo: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

Covid-19: Cape Town beaches to close to advance social distancing

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Mar 23, 2020

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Cape Town - The City of Cape Town has announced that it will be closing beaches as from tomorrow morning, 24 March 2020, to limit public contact and to assist our residents with respecting the National Government’s call to practice social distancing.

The announcement was made by Mayor Dan Plato on Monday afternoon where he said that while the City has appealed to the public to limit visits to the beaches last week, they have seen an increase in beach goers as a result of other public facilities being closed.

Plato said that as what has been similarly done "in other coastal municipalities across South Africa, we will be closing beaches".

The mayor said that until further notice, beaches along Cape Town’s coastline will be closed for all activities be it on the beach itself or in the water.  Thus, as from Tuesday the following are prohibited:

  • swimming, surfing, kite-surfing, kayaking, recreational fishing, and any other beach or water-based activity
"We are in the midst of an unprecedented period that calls for greater awareness and interventions. We have seen around the world how members of the public have flocked to beaches during this critical time and we want to ensure that residents and visitors are not placing themselves at increased risk by congregating in large numbers at beaches," Plato said.

Law enforcement will be doing patrols to ensure this restriction is adhered to.

Lifeguards will remain stationed on the beaches to assist the Law Enforcement Department. There will, however, be no flags to indicate demarcated swimming areas, in line with the new regulation.

The Shark Spotting Programme will also be stopping all shifts and no Shark Spotters will be on duty at any beaches as of 17:00 this evening, Monday 23 March 2020.

"We need to practice social distancing if we are going to limit the impact of the COVID-19 virus. If we do not practice social distancing the impact of this virus will be far worse.

"Our Disaster Risk Management staff will continue with their soap hand-out drive in informal settlements, and do loud-hailing in our communities, to draw attention to the serious Covid-19 measures that have been put in place, and how our residents can play their part to limit the spread of the virus," the mayor said.

"We are regularly updated by National and Provincial Government about the latest measures to be implemented and are fully supporting them by implementing these measures as quickly as possible.

"Please work with us, limit your interaction with others as much as possible, stay indoors if you can, and help us flatten the curve. By working together, we can limit the spread of the virus."

Cape Argus

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