Sun worshipers, surfers, and tourists were banned from Bondi Beach on Saturday to curb the corona virus that has now infected over 1,000 people in Australia.
Lifeguards emptied the sand from day trippers and the police taped the entrances to the beach in Sydney before closing several other popular bathing spots in the city.
The temporary measure comes after photos have been shared online that mainly show young beachgoers packed up – screams of protest in the media and from officials who have not banned essential gatherings of more than 500 people outdoors.
"This is not something we do because we are the & # 39; funny police & # 39; … it's about saving lives," New South Wales State Secretary of State David Elliott told reporters.
In the meantime, an entire region – the vast Northern Territory – said it would close its borders next week and quarantine arrivals from other parts of Australia for two weeks.
The measures announced by the Prime Minister of the Territory, beginning on Tuesday, aimed to address concerns about the safety of remote indigenous communities, which may be more prone to outbreak.
Australia's confirmed cases rose to 1,068 on Saturday. Among them are 10 US tourists who are being quarantined in South Australia.
The nation has taken a number of drastic steps to curb the spread of infection, including closing its borders to foreigners and non-residents.
In Bondi, people looked down on the desolate sand from the promenade after being told to leave the beach.
"I think it's time for us to take responsibility, even though it takes away something that we appreciate so much," Bondi Leila Alem told AFP.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has so far stopped ordering people to stay at home or not to close essential businesses, as was introduced in some parts of the world.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)