Saturday, March 28, 2020

Melbourne beach closures due to COVID-19 virus - impact on kitesurfing

NOTE: This article is being updated as directions change

Kiteboarding Victoria advised on 9 April that kitesurfers follow government rules and restrictions and stay at home to ensure they don't receive fines of up to $1652 or put others at risk such as emergency and rescue services during the stage 3 restrictions.

"A kitesurfer on the water is considered to be vessel and as such must adhere to all applicable rules and regulations". Maritime Safety Victoria.

The current ban on recreational boating therefore applies to kitesurfing.

15 April 2020. Some sources on social media claimed that kitesurfing (while adhering to social distancing) is no longer banned. There has been nothing issued in writing from the Police or the CHO to confirm this.


Increasing measures to keep people at home and prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus have resulted in closures of beaches in and around Melbourne.

Most beaches close to Melbourne have been closed by local councils (list below). Signs at some beaches specify "Visitors are permitted to surf, swim, run, walk or exercise if you strictly follow social distancing requirements”. (Hampton beach 2 April).

Beach closed notice, Inverloch inlet, 1 April 2020

Police have been asking some people to leave beach areas.

Check current local council and directions from Chief Health Officer (Victoria) and Australian Government Dept of Health.

Park Victoria is the government authority that manages recreational activities on Port Phillip Bay. See Park Victoria COVID-19 page for updates.

On 31 March Parks Vic status was:

Some beaches remain accessible for exercise if social distancing requirements are strictly followed, but the message is clear – if you can stay home, you must stay home.

Commencing on the weekend of 3-4 April 2020 all recreational activities beyond basic exercise are not allowed.  This includes fishing, hunting, boating, camping and golf.

All kiters have a responsibility to follow the rules so we don't jeopardise the recreation that we all love.

Victoria Police have the power to issue on the spot fines of up to $1,652 for individuals and up to $9,913 for businesses who don’t follow the directives of the Chief Health Officer.

There is a prohibition on social sport gatherings.

Non-essential travel is restricted across Australia

People who ignore government advice to stay at home need to consider:
  • Travel by car to go kitesurfing is non-essential domestic travel
  • If you get injured or require a rescue you will expose emergency services and medical workers to risk of COVID-19 infection from you
  • If you are taken to a hospital you expose medical staff and patients to COVID-19 risk too
The key message is STAY AT HOME to avoid transmission.

As at 31 March 2020, limited exercise such as going for a walk from your home is OK.

List of beach closures

City of Port Phillip, including
  • St Kilda
  • Elwood
  • Sandridge
  • Brighton
City of Bayside (30 Mar 2020 update), including
  • Brighton
  • Ricketts Point
  • Hampton
Frankston City Council: closed its beaches from midnight tonight until midnight on Sunday 29 March.

Mornington Peninsula Shire: all beaches (includes Rye, Rosebud)

Hobsons Bay City: all beaches (includes Altona, Williamstown)

City of Kingson: all beaches until 30 March (including Aspendale, Mentone)

Bass Coast Shire: beaches are closed, but people still allowed to people to surf, swim, run or walk as long as they did not congregate in groups.



Matt said...

Bayside beaches are closed BUT “Visitors are permitted to surf, swim, run, walk or exercise if you strictly follow social distancing requirements”. This is on a sign at Hampton beach 2 April.

Peter Campbell said...

Thanks. I have added that information to the post.