UPDATED: Coronavirus: Definitive Global List of Beach Closures and General Advice

Jason Lock

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Updated 1079d ago

Updated Wednesday April 8. This article was originally published by MSW on March 26 2020 and will be constantly updated as more lockdown measures come into place. Have we missed a spot? Info out of date? Leave a note in the comments below and we'll continually update this piece.

We've collated all the up-to-date information about surfing/ocean-going and movement restrictions under the coronavirus. This thing is moving fast, but we'll keep updating this piece as more information comes in and clarity is revealed.

Some countries are letting people out for one form of exercise a day, however, they've banned non-essential travel. Whether that means you're safe to walk to the beach, alone, and have a solo session, remains unclear. But that would be the safest way to go in these times. It is best to check each country's government's website -- make sure you read all the information on there to stay as informed as possible and abide by those hard facts. If surfing is off the table right now, don't worry, the waves will still be there when you're back, but someone you might infect won't be. Stay safe and keep the froth alive in other ways.

All of Byron Shire’s beach parking lots are closed but you can still surf if you can get to the surf.

Gold Coast: All beaches are closed to all non-Gold Coast residents. If you live on the Gold Coast you can still surf Burleigh, Currumbin, Kirra, Snapper and most of the beach breaks. Nobody can surf the Spit, Surfers Paradise beach, or Coolangatta Beach between Greenmount and Kirra groyne.

NSW: Range of beaches on the central and mid-coast are closed. All national parks are closed which shuts down access to many remote surf spots around the whole of Australia’s coastline.

Sydney: Dee Why, Manly, Bondi, Bronte, Tamarama, Coogee and Maroubra are all closed, no surfing. Most other beaches are open for short stay exercise including surfing.

Victoria: All surf spots on Phillip Island and the Mornington Peninsula are closed. As of this morning you can still surf Bells, Winki, Bird Rock and other Torquay spots.

Waverley council in Sydney has closed Tamarama, Bronte and Bondi beaches on Sunday due to people flouting these rules. For NSW guidance, see HERE and Victoria, HERE.

Puerto Rico’s government ordered the closure of all beaches in Puerto Rico, with surfing prohibited in all spots, through March 30. Violators can be fined up to $5000 and/or jailed for 6 months.

Surfing is California's state sport, but there are still rules in place. Shelter-in-place is in effect, which is, stay indoors unless going outside is absolutely essential. Visit this FAQ for more information and see guidelines HERE.

San Diego and Los Angeles counties, as well as parts of Orange County — including San Onofre/Trestles — parts of Ventura country and all Santa Cruz city beaches have closed all access to beaches. Additionally, State Parks have banned parking in their lots. Other cities and counties have instituted their own closures, but no blanket bans like in the areas mentioned above.

Up in Oregon, all State Parks have closed their parking lots. And in the city of Seaside, all access to the beach has been shuttered.

Wuhan has been locked down since December and it's thought this will lift on April 8. The country is reporting to have beaten coronavirus surf spots have since reopened.

Costa Rica
Beaches are closed and fines are in place for anyone who flouts that.

All state parks will be closed indefinitely beginning March 23, including Sebastian Inlet. The State has limited gatherings on beach to no more than 10 persons, spread at least 6 feet apart. Local municipalities are enforcing these guidelines and can impose stricter regulations or beach closures.

Brevard County has closed all beach parking lots and parks (including Sebastian Inlet), beaches will remain open from private access points only.

In South Florida, Boca Raton, Deerfield Beach, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea and Pompano Beach have closed their beaches. Dania Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Hallandale Beach, Hollywood and Miami Beach have imposed restrictions.

After gaining national attention, the City of Clearwater has closed all public beaches beginning on March 23.

Canaveral National Seashore (Playalinda Beach) is closed until further notice.

As of March 19th all parks, beaches and recreational facilities in Miami-Dade County, Florida were closed.

Volusia County will close vehicle ramps in New Smyrna Beach on Friday. The rest of the county will close ramps over the weekend. The beaches remain open.

Public gatherings of more than two people are banned, except for families. A similar trend seen across Europe and would also apply to in the water. Need to keep a 1.5 metre distance away from anyone else. Check HERE for updates.

Some surfers are currently stuck in Indo, unable to get home due to countries shutting airports and borders. And Bali has now cancelled all flights. Uluwatu, Padang Padang and Green Bowls are closed until further notice. Leaflets have been dropped via helicopter telling people what to do in the Seminyak area. This includes, no social gatherings including sport activities, maintaining distance and don't spread fake news.

The Mentawais are closed to foreigners, including for charter boats. Same with the Telos and Sumba.

All beaches currently closed.

All movement banned in the country. Police squads in Rome fining people without an excuse to be on the streets. No travelling to the beach. Keep an eye on Italy's government website, HERE.

A state of medical emergency was declared on March 19, which, as with many other countries, has closed all but essential shops and has forced residents indoors. Flights have also been banned from March 17. People may only leave their homes to buy food or medicine or go to work after receiving a permit from the authorities.

A partial lockdown has been announced for the Khomas region, which houses the capital Windhoek and the Erongo region, home to the port town of Walvis Bay. The name might ring a bell, as Skelton Bay, everyone's favourite Namibian drainer, is on its outskirts. The lockdown comes into force tomorrow and will run until midnight, April 16.

New Zealand
Similar measures to the UK are coming in. Stay at home, unless it's essential travel. The country is attempting to beat the virus before it even drastically hits. For up to date info, go HERE.

Absolutely no surfing allowed. Confiscation of your boards and a $100 fine and/or jail.

UPDATE: Lockdown has officially been moved to last until the end of June. Movement restricted for 15 days. Beaches around Porto are totally closed, though, and you cannot be in the water. Everywhere else, you are allowed in alone.  Officially, it's any gathering at the beach with more than five people is forbidden. Official updates are HERE.

South Africa
South Africa announced a three-week lockdown at the end of March. It means no one leaves the house except to go food shopping or for medical supplies, so certainly no surfing as of right now. Updates from the SA government, HERE.

A 15-day state emergency was announced on March 14, barring people from leaving the house unless it is for buying food or seeking medical care. However, this is likely to be extended to a further 15 days due to the peak of the coronavirus coming up soon. No surfing for the foreseeable. Keep up to date with the country's guidance, HERE.

No lockdown currently in place, though increasing pressure is mounting.

As of Monday March 23, the country is lockdown for three weeks. This means, no non-essential travel, one form of exercise a day, you can only go to the shops or out for health appointments. Keep two metres apart from everyone and exercise only with people from your household. Driving to beaches is off the cards and considered non-essential travel, visit HERE for further clarity. Further lockdown measures are likely to come into play after the Easter holidays.

US East coast
Barrier island access in the Charleston, SC area has been restricted to resident and property owners, and in some cases also allowing renters and hotel guests access. Be sure to check with your local municipality of interest (Isle of Palms, Sullivans Island, Folly Beach) before heading to the beach.

Dare County: (including the Outer Banks) is only open to residents, no visitors allowed access.

Long Island: New York City: “Stay home. All New Yorkers — healthy or sick — need to stay home. You should only leave your home for essential tasks, such as work (if you cannot work from home), getting groceries and supplies or essential medical care.”

Mid Atlantic: No known closures at this time.

New England: Town of York, Maine has closed Cape Neddick, Short Sands, Long Sands, and Harbor Beaches indefinitely. Towns of Wells and Ogunquit have now closed their beaches too.

New Hanover County, including Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach, and Kure Beach, have closed their beaches.

Southeast: Pender County and Onslow County has restricted beach parking and access.

Virginia Beach and Outer Banks: Virginia Beach parks: “All scheduled events, activities and reservations canceled through Sunday, March 29. Visitors may still come to parks, practice social distancing. Surfaces such as picnic tables, park benches and playground equipment are not sanitised.”

Cover shot by Rip It Up