SAN DIEGO – All city beaches from San Diego to Carlsbad remained closed Tuesday as officials urged residents to practice social distancing to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
Mayor Kevin Faulconer ordered the closure of all city-owned beaches, parks and trails on Monday, and said violators could face fines and jail time. Citing a lack of physical distance among city residents in public spaces over the weekend, Faulconer said the step was not one the city took lightly.
“Things are changing by the day. We have to be flexible, but we have to be firm,” he said. “This weekend we closed city-owned parking lots at beaches and parks. Now I am calling on the city to close all parks, beaches, boardwalks, bays and trails until further notice.”
The city of Oceanside closed all beach parking lots and public playgrounds on Monday, and the city of Carlsbad closed all beaches, parks and trails.
Del Mar and Solana Beach also closed their beaches, trails and most parks in those cities on Monday.
Faulconer said that people should still get outside for exercise, but stay in their neighborhoods and maintain physical distance of 6 feet from people who are not part of their household.
“The actions of a few can take the lives of many,” Faulconer said. “The time for education has ended. The time for enforcement is here.”
In Del Mar the beach was vacant Tuesday.
“This past weekend there was just an inability for people to exercise that social contract of the six-foot distance,” said Dell Mar Chief Lifeguard John Edelbrock.
Officials said there is a danger of a major uptick in coronavirus cases and people are simply not taking the danger seriously enough. The closures are unprecedented.
“Parks, we are talking beach access and the ocean,” said Edelbrock. That means no walking in the sand, wading, swimming or surfing until further notice.
Those disobey the rules can be fined up to $1000 and charged with a misdemeanor.