22 March, 2020 22 March, 2020

Surf Prohibition Amid Coronavirus

The eThekwini Municipality has officially put in measures prohibiting bathing and surfing at all Durban beaches to curb the spread of coronavirus… So far the policing of said restrictions has been rather lax.

Case and point the Golden Mile of Surf City yesterday witnessed a more crowded than usual lineup, just have a look at what was hanging between the sticks yesterday in the video below. So, for the most part, many local beachgoers are still willing to take the risk. 


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Today was so much fun!! Thank you Neptune for the Birthday present 🎥 @tates_tea_holder

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The municipality has indicated that although bathing is banned, the public is still allowed to jog or take walks along Durban beaches. 

“There is nothing else to do at the moment, it’s most surfers only escape just as it always was. You can’t really take it away (Covid-19) you know, the virus is here and a surfer’s gonna surf” – Durban surfer. 

Another beachgoer says, “As a person who grew up at the beachfront, we swim each and every day. Well, coronavirus might affect us by contacting people, but when you are in the water how can I get it? Yes, I can see the poles written no swimming, but you just want to go swim. It’s a hot afternoon.”

According to the Water Research Foundation regarding the coronavirus and water, it can still be infectious in natural water systems like lakes and rivers, however diluted. As of yet, not enough studies have been done to really know if it can survive saltwater. Other types of coronaviruses are susceptible to UV radiation and might not survive in waterways.

As of Saturday afternoon, 240 people have been infected with coronavirus in South Africa, minister Zweli Mkhize said. This is a jump of 38 cases in one day, since the virus was first detected on March 5. 

Access to various open and public spaces, as well as facilities throughout the city, will be limited after a number of restrictions were announced by Durban mayor Mxolisi Kaunda.

The restrictions are as follows:  

Swimming pools

All swimming pools will be closed, effective immediately, for the duration of the school break and will reopen after Easter.

Beach Bathing and Surfing

Bathing at any of the city’s beaches is prohibited with immediate effect, however, lifeguards will remain on duty to monitor the beaches and ensure safety. Law enforcement officers will monitor those who do not adhere to these measures. The municipality emphasised that its beaches were not closed, only swimming and surfing is prohibited.


Access to parks will be monitored. Weddings and social gatherings are now suspended indefinitely. The city management team has been tasked to be vigilant and ensure that safety measures are implemented, including but not limited to the use of hand sanitisers, wet wipes, continuous cleaning of public spaces and educating the public at municipal facilities.


All municipal libraries will be closed but the staff will be at work.

Community Halls

All functions will be limited to groupings of less than 100 as per the directive of President Cyril Ramaphosa. Events previously planned, where more than 100 people were expected, have been cancelled.


During funerals, communities are encouraged to limit the number of mourners to family members only or to restrict the mourners to not more than 50 at the cemetery. Mourners should keep to burial time slots allocated to prevent delays in accessing the cemetery.


All museums will be closed to the public, but the staff will be at work.

Durban Art Gallery

The number of visitors will be restricted to less than 50 at a time, school bookings will be restricted and only open after the Easter holidays.

Arts and Culture

All events, cultural or departmental programs are cancelled indefinitely.


1 Comment

  1. Andy Rossell
    22 March, 2020 at 7:04 pm · Reply

    Surely the ethekwini Municipality has resources at it’s disposal to test whether the virus can live in salt water.
    I’m amazed that slum houses, sheebeens are are still open for business. There are many properties in our suburbs that have more than 40 people living in squalor.

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