A former first lady of Australia has received a brutal response online after she asked why sunbathers in Sydney aren’t locked up for being outdoors.
Therese Rein, wife of former Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, responded to a tweet about how ‘insanely busy’ Balmoral Beach on Sydney’s Lower North Shore was this weekend, while strict Covid restrictions are still in place.
The 63-year-old who once received a medal for her commitment to human rights, demanded to know ‘why aren’t they arrested?’
Outraged Twitter users immediately pointed out that it’s not illegal to be outside with other members of your own household or your “singles bubble” partner for exercise or recreation if you’re within 3 miles of your home and outside the LGAs. care in western Sydney.
New rules from Monday have eased restrictions even further, allowing up to five fully vaccinated local residents to meet outside for a picnic.
While it’s possible to catch Covid outside, it’s extremely rare – generally requiring people to be around – less than two meters – for a ‘significant’ period of time for this to happen.
Therese Rein, wife of former Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, (pictured together in 2018) received a brutal response online after asking why Sydney sunbathers aren’t locked up for being outdoors
The 63-year-old who once received a medal for her commitment to human rights, wanted to know ‘why aren’t they being arrested?’
Beachgoers sit and swim at Balmoral Beach (pictured) amid ongoing social restrictions due to the Sydney pandemic on Sunday
“Imagine sitting in your Queensland country house with Kevin07 urging people to arrest people on the highway for going to the beach,” said one commenter.
Others wrote: ‘Because they are not criminals, they hunt’ and ‘because we don’t arrest people because they are in a public place where they are allowed to be’.
“I know this is a challenge for many people to understand. But after a lengthy investigation into the details of the current restrictions, it appears that it is technically not illegal to be outside,” said another.
Thousands of sun-drenched Sydneysiders who have been staying at home for more than 13 weeks descended on the city’s beaches this weekend as temperatures soared to 30C.
Beaches from Manly in the north to Cronulla in the south saw a crowded crowd with photos of Bondi and Coogee in the eastern suburbs that looked more like photos taken before the Covid pandemic hit.
The nearby Woollahra Council was even forced to shut down Camp Cove at Watson’s Bay and Redleaf Beach at Double Bay after huge crowds flooded the popular harborside spots.
A Twitter user described the weekend scenes at Sydney’s Balmoral Beach as “insanely busy” (pictured on Sunday)
The reaction came immediately from angry Twitter users who shot at the former first lady of Australia
Many followed Covid protocols by visiting with just one friend and wearing a mask, but police were on hand to remind sunbathers to follow public health regulations – as the number of new coronavirus cases rises between 1,200 and 10,000 each day. 1500 continues to fluctuate.
Photos showed officers approaching scantily clad Bondi residents to tell them to wear face coverings while not swimming, surfing, walking or jogging.
Sydney residents face a $500 fine for not wearing a mask “in all indoor or outdoor areas except a residence.”
But infectious disease professor Peter Collignon said the risks associated with outdoor transmission are actually extremely scarce — about 20 to 30 times lower than indoors.
Police patrol Coogee Beach on Sunday to ensure sunbathers don’t defy Covid-19 restrictions
But despite the barrage of criticism of Ms Rein (pictured with Kevin Rudd in 2018) for her happy comments about beachgoers, many on social media agreed with the respected rehabilitation consultant and social entrepreneur.
Uniformed police ensure no one traveled more than 3 miles from home to lie on the beach on Sunday morning (photo, Bondi)
“Basically, if you’re outside and especially if you keep two meters away, you’re very unlikely to get the virus. When you’re outside and you’re closer than that [for significant periods]and then wear a mask,” he told Daily Mail Australia.
“I don’t think we should discourage people from going outside. It is safer to spend time outdoors with your family than indoors.
“Second, there are emotional and psychological costs associated with staying indoors for so long.”
But despite the barrage of criticism of Ms Rein for her happy comments about beachgoers, many on social media agreed with the respected rehabilitation consultant and social entrepreneur.
A number of social media users agreed with Ms Rein saying there is a ‘double standard’ when it comes to Covid restrictions in Sydney
‘There is still a curfew in western Sydney with helicopter flights at dusk!! Incredible double standards,” one wrote.
Others accused Liberal Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian of ‘giving up’.
Another wrote: ‘Death doesn’t matter who you are… this pathogen has now been released… these people will find out soon enough.’
NSW RULES ON EXERCISE AND OUTDOOR RECREATION
Stay within your municipal area or within 3 miles of your home.
If you’re traveling by private vehicle, don’t share it with people you don’t live with, except your “singles bubble” buddy.
You can exercise with one other person you don’t live with, or your ‘singles bubble’ buddy.
If you live with more than two other people, you can all go out for sports or recreation
Recreation includes outdoor leisure activities, such as sitting to relax or eating, drinking, or reading outdoors.
But masks should be worn during outdoor recreation and anytime you are not exercising, and you should always have one with you.
From Monday 13 September, up to five fully vaccinated residents will be able to meet for an outdoor picnic, as long as residents live outside the 12 LGAs of concern in western Sydney.
Source: NSW Health