Popular spots deserted as locals are keeping their distance
THE message has been clear as we battle the coronavirus: Stay inside unless it's absolutely necessary.
And the people of Ballina seem to be abiding by the Federal and NSW Government rules as the nation tries to stop the spread of the virus.
North Wall is a popular place for walkers and cyclists, but, on a sunny Saturday afternoon, it was all-but empty.
There was a small number of people, but nothing like usual - and, remember, outdoor exercise is allowed, but not in groups and only for a limited amount of time.
Sunday's intermittent rain was nature's way of reminding us of the restrictions.
Ballina's mayor, Cr David Wright, said he was "proud" of the community's efforts in stopping the spread of the disease.
"I can't be everywhere, but I've been to the lake (Ainsworth at Lennox Head), the shops, the beach and people are doing the right thing," he said.
"A week ago, I was really worried (as crowds did gather on beaches).
"But it was completely different this weekend."
At Byron Bay, there were threats last weekend to close the beaches to the public as social-distancing rules were being ignored.
Lifesavers in the region made the decision during the week to end patrols, effectively closing the beaches.
On Sunday afternoon, the streets of Byron Bay were a ghost town, as beachgoers finally get the message to stay at home.
Only a handful of people could be found on Main Beach, and the surrounding grass area, which is usually packed on a Sunday.
The carpark to the beach has been barricaded off and a sign at the entrance warns visitors that social-distancing laws must be adhered to.
The popular playground located next to Main Beach also is closed off to the public using red and white barricade tape.
Many dedicated surfers still headed down to The Pass, however, numbers were still low for a typical Sunday.
Richmond Police District Superintendent, Toby Lindsay, last week said there was going to be a higher presence of police around the region to ensure people are following the new guidelines of social distancing and self-isolation, when necessary.
"And if need be, we will intervene. We don't want to but the police will intervene, so people need to comply with those directions," he said.