Surf Life Saving Queensland will move all volunteer beach patrols and lifeguard services to surveillance patrols from Saturday March 28.
The change will mean lifesavers and lifeguards will still be on beaches ready to respond, however to avoid people congregating in close proximity there will be no red and yellow flagged designated swimming areas.
SLSQ General Manager of Lifesaving Kaitlyn Akers said they are committed to zero preventable deaths in Queensland waters, and the safety of Queenslanders during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“While there will be no flagged designated swimming areas, lifesavers and lifeguards will remain on our beaches on a surveillance patrol,” she said.
“Surf lifesavers and lifeguards will continue to be actively advising beachgoers of warnings and performing preventative actions, to ensure beachgoers safety.
“We ask members of the public re-consider their need to visit our beaches and avoid swimming for their own safety.”
Ms Akers said the decision was made in the interest of public safety and member welfare.
“This decision has been made in line with the warnings against the congregation of crowds, due to the likelihood of crowds occurring in flagged designated swimming areas on our beaches,” she said.
“We encourage the public to follow government direction to stay home and practice social distancing.”
Rescue equipment will remain on the beach ready to perform rescues and respond to incidents if required.
All operation support services continue to operate and emergency response groups will remain on standby to respond to any major incidents.
SLSQ will continue to work with the Queensland Government, local councils and health authorities during this time, and will provide updates as the situation continues to develop.