July’s Easing Of Restrictions & How We Coped With Lockdown In Avalon Beach

By Jonathan Fletcher

No one could have expected or imagined the year that 2020 has been. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have had 16 weeks of federal government social distancing rules and implemented lockdowns. Now, as we begin the first week of the second half of the year, restrictions in NSW have been further eased.

We have gotten used to our daily routines being altered – work, school, business and the commute… as well as the recreational and outdoor lifestyle we all appreciate on the Northern Beaches.  We were ‘shooed’ off our beaches, fenced from our rock pools, banned from our boats and shut out of the sports clubs. Our much-loved coffee culture was wound back to takeaways and two-people gatherings became the norm. 

But here we are on the other side with July 1st seeing the federal and NSW government easing restrictions further.

Key points on restriction changes this month from the Northern Beaches Council:

  • The number of people allowed inside indoor venues will be determined by the ‘one person per 4 square metre’ rule, with no upper limit. This includes function centres. All activity must be seated only.
  • Cultural and sporting events at outdoor venues with a maximum capacity of 40,000 will be allowed up to 25 percent of their normal capacity. Events must be ticketed and seated and follow strict guidelines.
  • On compassionate grounds, restrictions on funerals will immediately be eased to allow the four square metre rule to apply.
  • All other restrictions including 20 guests inside the home and 20 for outside gatherings remain the same.

This means all businesses, including cinemas, theatres, performance halls, parks, showgrounds, community centres and sporting facilities can reopen with the social distancing 4 square metre rule in place. The July 1 measures will allow vital community hubs in our region to open, providing a big boost for communities many of which are still recovering from lockdown.

The government has indicated that by August that restriction is also likely to be lifted.

How we coped with the lockdown as a community – Comments from Locals

In my conversations with local homeowners, vendors, clients and buyers it’s been interesting to hear how residents have coped with the lockdown period in Avalon Beach. We learnt a lot as a family, especially that we love where we live and want to spend more time together enjoying our wonderful coastline. Here are a few comments from other locals –

Marilyn, 58 – Quarantined for 5 weeks

“We were Quarantined in our house for almost 5 weeks as our daughter had returned from France and my husband was also unwell. Our local friends did the grocery shopping for us and we ordered other supplies online. Five weeks not leaving the house is a long time! We learnt to be creative – knitting, crocheting and playing games! We are lucky we have a nice outlook over the beach where we live. I now appreciate, even more so,  the local cafes and restaurants here in Avalon. It’s just so lovely being able to go out for long walks on the headland, get a coffee from the coffee truck or meet friends for coffee and food. I’m so grateful now for what we have here in Avalon.”

Lin, 68 and Geoff, 67 – No Commute, domestic life and missing the grandkids

“When the lockdown first started it was a surreal experience and quite unsettling as we didn’t know how long it was going to last. During the first week I felt like the pressure was off and it was quite nice to be at home. I became very domestic – making cakes & painting. After a few weeks of not seeing our kids and grandkids it did become a bit more stressful and we missed seeing family and friends. 

Geoff has been working from home, he has enjoyed not having to commute. We are really looking forward to things getting back to normal now – getting out and going to the theatre, concerts, art galleries and drinks with friends… we have missed those things.”

Emma, 34 – homeschooling and working from home

“Overall we enjoyed the slow down that the restrictions provided. The kids were home from school for over 6 weeks and they really liked homeschooling. I was working my part-time job from home so I focused our routine around schooling in the morning, something fun in the afternoon and then at night i’d jump on and do my work hours online. The lockdown time was a great opportunity to simplify our lives, spend time together as a family, and also do things I don’t always have time to do, like songwriting and surfing”

In conclusion

It’s great to see Avalon getting back to its busy communal self. This winter we are bound to see much more activity than usual as international and some state borders remain shut, locals are staying local for holidays, recreation, shopping and sports. We look forward to an active winter season and expect this to be reflected in the property market as well. We have new properties coming onto the market every week and many buyers out ready to purchase. If you are interested in buying or selling in Avalon Beach or the surrounding suburbs, do not hesitate to call me today.

If you’d like to track the value of your home, compare recent sales and find out how much your property is worth in the current market, you can get your free estimate here.

If you’re thinking of selling or buying and want advice, you can contact me on 0424 053 355 or on email.