As California reported back-to-back record numbers of coronavirus cases this week amid the continued reopening of the state, Santa Cruz County has decided to fully reopen its beaches, noting that the restrictions were becoming increasingly difficult to enforce.
The county, which has upheld some of the state’s strictest shelter-in-place guidelines longer than many other locales in California, will lift all beach closures at midnight, officials said.
The current order closed beaches from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. for all activities except walking across the sand to enter the water, though people could still use the ocean for recreational purposes during that time. Beachgoers also were prohibited from picnicking, sunbathing, sitting or congregating in a stationary setting when the beach was open in the mornings and evenings, typically for walking or running along the shoreline.
But residents have continued to ignore the rules, officials said.
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