With coronavirus infections surging statewide, California officials on Wednesday announced the full closure of all state beaches in Los Angeles and Ventura counties and restricted vehicle access for beaches in nine other counties over the Fourth of July weekend.
The new restrictions come after both L.A. and Ventura counties announced the closure of county beaches over the holiday weekend as health officials grappled with spikes in infections and hospitalizations for COVID-19.
California State Parks will close beach parking lots in Orange, Santa Barbara, Marin, Monterey, San Diego, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Cruz and Sonoma counties.
Though lots will be closed off, locals can still walk or bike into the public outdoor spaces. But gatherings are not allowed, and visitors have to practice physical distancing, officials said.
“Due to COVID-19, we have to observe Fourth of July differently this year,” California State Parks Director Lisa Mangat said in a statement. “That means avoiding large gatherings and road trips to state parks and beaches. Now more than ever, it’s up to all of us to recreate responsibly to protect our loved ones and our communities.”
At other state parks that remain open, staff plan to monitor visitation and physical distancing over the holiday weekend.
Visitors can expect to see limited parking and closed trails while park officials try to limit overcrowding as the pandemic continues.
Those who have made Fourth of July camping reservations at any of the state parks won’t lose their reservations, state officials said.
Closed state beaches in L.A. County will include: Leo Carrillo State Park, Malibu Lagoon State Beach, Malibu Pier, Point Dume and Robert H. Meyer Memorial.
In Ventura County, Emma Wood, Mandalay, McGrath, Point Mugu and San Buenaventura state beaches will be closed.
Face coverings are required anywhere that people can’t stay at least 6 feet away from others.
“State Parks will continue to monitor visitation and physical distancing across the State Park System and if unsafe conditions develop, park units may close again,” officials said in a news release.
In addition to closed shorelines, Californians will see a return to restricted access at several different locations in the coming weeks.
Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered 19 counties to close indoor operations at restaurants, wineries, tasting rooms, card rooms, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, zoos and museums.