Surf Life Saving New South Wales (NSW) has sent its drones back up across Sydney’s popular beaches and parks to ensure COVID-19 rules are followed. The drones were first used back in November to prepare for the increase in activity around the festive season.

The drones will send real-time information to councils, which will then act on it and hand out fines if required. Bondi Beach already came close to reaching 6,000 people when a temperature spike was recorded a few weeks back.

The decision to use them again is a direct result of summer, and the weather brought along with it. As many people are still working from home or are sadly no longer working due to the pandemic, people have more time on their hands.

Northern Beaches Council mayor, Michael Regan, shared back in November:

This partnership is a critical part of our summer COVID safety operations. Our aim is to keep our popular beaches and parks open so locals and visitors alike can enjoy them to the full this summer.

Surf Life Saving NSW CEO Steven Pearce shared that they do not want to close the beaches, so they will be required to get as much information on beach attendance as possible to keep everyone safe.

The following beaches and parks are under drone watch. If the tests are successful and prove useful, it is expected that more beaches and parks in the state will have drones flying above.

  • Little Manly Beach and Reserve
  • Shelly Beach
  • Manly Beach
  • North Steyne
  • Queenscliff
  • Freshwater Reserve
  • South Curl Curl
  • Dee Why
  • Long Reef
  • Collaroy Beach and Reserve
  • Narrabeen
  • North Narrabeen
  • Warriewood
  • Mona Vale
  • Bungan Beach
  • Newport
  • Bilgola
  • Avalon
  • Whale Beach
  • Palm Beach

Drones and COVID-19

Drones have been present throughout the global pandemic, with some saying that this demonstrates how truly useful they are. Recently, the University of California San Diego (UCSD) developed a disinfecting drone with UV-C lights. Many countries are using drones to disinfect public areas, along with monitoring busy areas to ensure people are following social distancing rules.

Photo: Annie Spratt


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