Surf Life Saving NSW has decided to cancel all patrols on beaches from this weekend.
Patrols were due to continue for another four weeks but on March 26 the extraordinary decision was made to end patrols early.
Many Surf Life Saving clubs on the South Coast will have support operational call-out teams for emergencies and will only utilise rescue watercraft.
Surf Life Saving will be available 24/7 for emergency response, but anyone who needs help on the beach should call Triple Zero (000).
Surf Life Saving South Coast branch president Steven Jones said it was a difficult decision for the organisation to make but it had to prioritise the health of members.
"In doing this we've taken into consideration the aquatic safety of the pubic at the beach but we also have to consider the safety and welfare of our members and their families in the current climate of the COVID-19 outbreak," Mr Jones said.
"It is the most significant decision we as volunteers have had to make.
"All Australians are taking into account their personal needs at this time.
"We will still provide an after-hours call out for patrols, if there is an emergency on the beach please call 000."
There was also doubt if WorkCover would protect a volunteer who provided first aid or rescued a member of the public, who was later found to have the COVID-19 virus and they became infected as a result.