The NSW government is set to close Bondi Beach after footage of people packing onto its famous sands drew worldwide condemnation.

NSW Police David Elliott will announce the drastic measure at Bondi Beach on Saturday afternoon.

Thousands flocked to Bondi Beach on Friday amid temperatures in the high 30s, ignoring social distancing measures.

Photos of beachgoers have been harshly criticised by foreign media and on social media as the world attempts to slow the spread of the deadly virus.

It came as Waverley mayor Paula Masselos on Saturday issued a public plea for people to stay away from Bondi amid the coronavirus pandemic and away from beaches.

“The public must at all times keep a minimum safe distance from each other in public places and if you don’t need to be out in public, please consider staying at home,” Mr Masselos said.

“We all have a role to play in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and I am frustrated that people continue to ignore health advice about social distancing as observed yesterday at Bondi Beach.”

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Mr Masselos asked for people to heed advice from NSW health including practising social distancing and following hygiene rules.

“No-one is immune to COVID-19 and behaving irresponsibly puts the entire community at risk,” Mr Masselos said.

Health Minister Greg Hunt told reporters in Melbourne that local councils needed to ensure people were observing health and safety measures.

“What happened in Bondi was unacceptable and the local council must take steps to stop that occurring,” Mr Hunt said.

“Each of us as individuals, as families, as groups, as councils, as state governments, as a national government has responsibility.

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“Where something like this is occurring the local council must step in and that message is absolutely clear.”