COVID marshals will hopefully not be needed at Wollongong's patrolled beaches but the Lord Mayor has not ruled them out if numbers become unmanageable over summer.
The Local Government of NSW is calling on the state government to fund COVID-19 marshals to police popular beaches and ensure beachgoers are adhering to social distancing measures.
Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said the council's cohort of 80 lifeguards would be tasked with looking after people's safety and monitoring crowd numbers on beaches.
"We don't need marshals at this stage as we are unlikely to see the large numbers that other popular Sydney beaches see as people can spread out along our 17 patrolled beaches.
"Having marshals could be a possibility down the track if the numbers are overwhelming."
Cr Bradbery said the long weekend would be an "experiment" for police and Wollongong Council to get ready for the summer season, where thousands of people are expected to flood to the region.
"We are very conscious of the fact we can't travel overseas or interstate and thus people are going to holiday and come down to the coast to the Illawarra and Shoalhaven," he said.
"If we bugger this up we are likely to have more restrictions.
"If locals and visitors are going to enjoy the coast, which we want them to do, then they have to abide by social distancing requirements and prevent the virus from spreading. If we do it right then we are going to have a great summer."
The warning comes as local police gear up for a busy long weekend and summer period.
Operation Summer Safe is a high-visibility operation which will be in place for the duration of the current school holidays and the following summer months throughout regional NSW.
The operation will focus on policing licensed premises, public spaces and entertainment precincts in an effort to decrease anti-social behaviour and alcohol-related violence, whilst also ensuring adherence to current Public Health Orders.
Southern Region Commander, Acting Assistant Commissioner Dean Smith, said police were ready for the influx of visitors to Southern NSW in the coming months.
"We want people to enjoy our region and we understand there will be plenty of people travelling across our region to visit our areas during the school holidays and over the coming months leading up to Christmas," he said.
"We want people to do that in a safe manner and to make sure there are aware of the risks still in place due to the pandemic.
"The health orders are still in place and we want to ensure when people go to our beaches, parks, national parks, licensed venues and move in our region that they are considerate and consider the impacts that can have if they don't behave appropriately.
"Social distancing is very important to us, especially when people gather at the beach."
"We have and will continue to work closely with our councils, Surf Life Saving and other partner agencies to ensure that our beaches, waterways, national parks, outdoor spaces and licensed venues, can be enjoyed safely in line with current health requirements."
A/Assistant Commissioner Smith said beaches could be closed if numbers became unmanageable but that would only happen if "absolutely necessary".
He said all police were aware of the public health order requirements and would talk to people about the rules.
"If you choose to breach the public health orders and put others at risk then you will receive a $1000 fine or up to $5000 fines for organisations," A/Assistant Commissioner Smith said.
"We have been in this environment for many months now. People know what is required of them. There is no lack of communication about the consequences."
A/Assistant Commissioner Smith warned that if licensed venues breached the requirements, the incidents would be investigated and if required would be closed down.
He said police closed venues in the snow region during winter and the summer period would be no different.
Officers will also be highly visible on the roads and would be targeting speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, using a mobile and fatigue.
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