The Bridge to Bridge and Central Basin loop are two of Canberra’s most iconic exercise circuits, but the number of people continuing to use the tracks and not adhere to social distancing has put the public at risk of spreading COVID-19.
The National Capital Authority has recommended that residents try taking the Central Basin loop around Lake Burley Griffin in a clockwise direction to minimise the potential of spreading the virus.
But Chief Minister Andrew Barr says there are so many other ways to avoid exposure.
“Strange times breeds strange solutions,” the Chief Minister joked. “The Bridge to Bridge is an iconic Canberra exercise circuit, but there are hundreds of iconic Canberra exercise circuits.
“Even if you are still really keen to go around Lake Burley Griffin, go around East Basin or West Basin, or Western Park, or Scrivener Dam.
“Isn’t it lucky that we live in the best city in the world in which to enjoy outdoor exercise?”
But after receiving hundreds of messages over the last few weeks about whether specific activities were allowed, Mr Barr said the crux of the social distancing rules is simple.
“When you strip it all back to what this is about, it is to stay away from other people, that is what all of these measures are put in place for,” he said.
“The simple advice to everyone is to avoid crowds. Assume that either you or the person nearby you could have the virus so keep your distance.
“I think it is obvious. Do not be touching things you do not have to, do not be near people you do not have to. But yes, get out and exercise.”
Chief Police Officer Ray Johnson reiterated this message, saying people going around Lake Burley Griffin were not adhering to social distancing requirements over Easter and this needs to change.
“People aren’t practising social distancing directions in places like the area around Lake Burley Griffin,” he said.
“We do not want the actions of a few to affect future measures to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The health directions are in place to protect everyone’s safety – by reducing our movement in the community and spending as little time with as few people as possible.”
Sports Minister Yvette Berry said sports like tennis and golf that still allow participants to remain distanced from each other were OK, but athletes should just use common sense.
“For our sports communities it is about using common sense, about whether or not you are applying those [social distancing] requirements as we move through this pandemic,” she said.
And if you are still considering exercising around Lake Burley Griffin or within the National Triangle this weekend, perhaps think ahead and use the bathroom before you leave home as the NCA has closed five public toilets for increased cleaning.
In keeping with Government & health advice & to allow for increased cleaning of public amenities the NCA have closed ?? 5 of our toilets ? throughout the National Triangle. To view which toilets remain open ? please visit our websitehttps://t.co/A8u8cMbj0b pic.twitter.com/FtVHSZt1lZ
— NCA (@nca_media) April 17, 2020