Newport Beach will keep its beaches open on weekends, but with additional enforcement.
On Tuesday, the Newport Beach City Council rejected the motion to close its beaches for three weekends in May.
Rather than closing beaches altogether, beaches remain open but with additional enforcement and lifeguards. The council supported citations for anyone who does not comply with the social distancing measures, according to a city news release.
The vote followed a weekend of crowded beaches both in Newport and Huntington. The City Council reported around 80,000 people on the Orange County shores during the weekend—the highest number of beachgoers since the lockdown went in to place.
Oceanfront Boardwalk, Newport and Balboa piers, and the Wedge beach area are still closed. As is all city parking lots in beach areas, causing major concerns around the impacts on surrounding residential areas.
In response to this, the city plans to increased enforcement of parking laws in neighboring areas to ensure neighborhoods do not experience the same surge in traffic as seen over the weekend.
Governor Gavin Newsom rebuked weekend beach crowds in Ventura and Orange counties, stating that “This virus doesn’t take the weekends off, this virus doesn’t go home because it’s a beautiful sunny day around our coasts.”
While police officials reported a good level of social distancing compliance on most beaches, locals said it looked like and an ordinary day at the beach, according to NBC news.
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Featured Image: Ken Lund