Coronavirus: Beaches, baths and other public spaces closed, Park and Ride halted

The City of Newcastle on Monday suspended its Park and Ride service in response to an 85 per cent decline in use since the outbreak of COVID-19 in the Hunter.

The council said patronage of the commuter service had dropped significantly during the past month, with buses running close to empty to and from the city following the shutdown of non-essential services and with many people now working from home.

Blackbutt Reserve has also been closed to the public in line with the Public Health Order of March 25 limiting all non-essential services.

This follows last week's suspension of wildlife shows and other entertainment and services that required close contact between members of the public and Blackbutt staff.

While public access is now restricted, staff will continue to tend to Blackbutt Reserve and care for the animals on site as per usual.

City of Newcastle's signage being placed at beaches.

City of Newcastle's signage being placed at beaches.

The council has closed all beaches and outdoor public areas such as the ocean baths, skateparks, playgrounds and exercise equipment following the Federal Government's directive on Sunday to limit outdoor gatherings to two people.

These closures includes Crown Land reserves such as the Bogey Hole.

Beaches have red flags up with lifeguards on duty monitoring public safety. Police will be notified if people ignore lifeguards' advice to leave the beach.

The council said it was working on Monday to install signage to advise the community that public spaces are closed to limit the spread of COVID-19.

City of Newcastle has closed public spaces including but not limited to:

  • Beaches
  • Ocean Baths including change rooms
  • Playgrounds
  • BBQs and shelters
  • Fenced off-leash dog parks.
  • Skateparks
  • Outdoor exercise equipment