FACT CHECK: Does This Image Show A Crowded South African Beach During The COVID-19 Lockdown?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows a packed beach in Bloemfontein, South Africa, during the country’s coronavirus lockdown.

Verdict: False

The image has been created using a news chyron generator website. The photo, taken in 2013, actually shows Bondi Beach in Australia.

Fact Check:

South Africa’s government instituted a three-week national stay-at-home order starting March 27 and later extended it through April 30 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The country began gradually reopening on Friday, with some travel restriction easing and some industries resuming operations, according to Reuters.

The image, posted on Facebook on April 23, shows a packed beach. A news chyron that reads “Crowded Beaches In Bloemfontein” appears at the bottom alongside the logo for the South African media outlet SABC News. Bloemfontein, a landlocked city, does not have any coastal beaches.

“I’m so disappointed about the people in Bloemfontein,” reads the Facebook caption. “We all on lockdown… And they decide to still go to there beach… And party.” (RELATED: Did South African President Cyril Ramaphosa Order All Foreigners To Vacate The Country By June 21 Due To COVID-19?)

The photo, taken by photographer Marianna Massey for Getty Images, shows Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia, in January 2013, years before the coronavirus first emerged in China. Bondi Beach is a popular tourist destination and the setting of the television show “Bondi Rescue,” which follows the daily lives of its lifeguards.

The graphic appears to have been made using one of the many websites that generate fake news chyrons.

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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