The coronavirus has been the reasoning for many closures across California. Governor Gavin Newsom announced a stay at home order on Mar. 20 warning people to stay inside and to only leave the house when necessary. The order only closed nonessential businesses like malls, theaters and gyms.
Governor Newsom’s orders did not directly shut down beaches, they only recommended to practice social distancing when in a public area. Due to the number of people off from work and students home from school the beaches were being filled and social distancing was not being practiced.
As a result, a stricter policy was put in place by California State Parks for Los Angeles County which closed beach parking lots in efforts to stop people from going to the beach.
However, the policy excluded Orange County beaches resulting in a large number of people still going to the beach and not practicing social distancing. This resulted in OC Parks announcing that on Mar. 25 they will be closing beach parking lots and some pedestrian access points to beaches. Following this order, on Mar. 26 California State Parks announced the parking lot closures of Orange County state beaches like Doheny State Beach, San Clemente State Beach and San Onofre.
In support of the state’s efforts, California State Park…[is] closing vehicle access at all 290 state beaches and fully closing others”
The policies implemented by both the state and the county are only applicable to the parking lots. People are still allowed to walk or bike into the beaches, but are expected to practice social distancing as officials will be monitoring people at the beaches.
However, if the safety measures are not enough they may completely close the beaches not allowing any public access. All policies enforced by the state and county are subject to change based on the spread of the virus and if proper precautions are not being taken by citizens.
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