Lifesaving clubs will be closed from this weekend, and Life Saving Victoria (LSV) beach patrols and all non-essential activities at clubs will cease.
This will effectively be an early finish to the Victorian lifesaving patrol season, which was scheduled to continue until the following weekend, 13 April (Easter Monday).
The move follows the announcement of Stage 3 restrictions to slow the spread of coronavirus, and the closure of a number of beaches by local governments.
LSV is advising people not to go swimming at this time. If you choose to go swimming, you do so at your own risk.
The advice to all Victorians is very clear: stay home.
People should not be gathering in groups of more than two people, including at beaches.
Police will also be proactively patrolling places of mass gathering, including beaches, to ensure restrictions are complied with and individuals breaking this order will face on-the-spot fines.
LSV’s Director Lifesaving Operations Kane Treloar said Life Saving Victoria was unwavering in its commitment to protect lives in and around the water.
“As an emergency service, we will continue to provide vital emergency response services, including offshore marine search and rescue services, roving Rescue Water Craft – RWC or Jetski – and the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service,” Mr Treloar said.
“I thank all lifesavers, lifeguards and members for their dedication and commitment to ensuring the safety of beachgoers across the state over what has been a challenging 2019-20 lifesaving season.”
“The health and safety of our members, volunteers and the wider community has always been our priority.”
“LSV will continue to seek advice from the Department of Health and Human Services, Emergency Management Victoria and other expert resources, and will continue to keep our members informed and updated relating to this situation.”
For more information about LSV’s latest advice to members about the COVID-19 pandemic, visit www.lsv.com.au/healthalerts.