San Diegans head to beaches at start of Memorial Day weekend

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) – As San Diegans headed for area beaches on the start of the Memorial Day weekend, Lifeguard Services officials said beachgoers seemed to be following county health guidelines issued to slow the spread of the coronavius pandemic.

At 1 p.m., it was still early to gauge crowd estimates at all coastal beaches, but at La Jolla beaches, it was a “pretty routine” day, according to Marine Safety Lt. Maureen Hodges of Lifeguard Services.

“Lifeguards made some rescues,” Hodges said. “But so far, we’re off to a good start here in La Jolla.”

Lifeguards were focusing on water safety and making sure runners and walkers kept moving on the sand, Hodges said. She  encouraged beachgoers to come to the beach, get their exercising in, then leave.

“We want all San Diegans and visitors to enjoy our beaches,” Lifeguard Chief James Gartland said on Friday. “However, the public health rules that are in place must be followed this weekend. We expect a lot of visitors and will work closely with our partners at San Diego Police Department to make sure everyone stays safe.”

The rules for beaches and shorelines state that only walking and running are allowed. “No stopping, sitting or lying down,” the rules state.

In the ocean, only swimming, surfing, kayaking and single-person paddling are allowed.

In San Diego bays, single-household recreational boating is allowed, along with fishing, but not from the shoreline. No swimming on the bay and Mission Bay Park.

Boardwalks, piers, parking lots and Fiesta Island are closed.

Gatherings and non-physical distancing activities are not allowed anywhere.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer on Friday asked San Diegans to “follow public health rules that keep us safe.”

“We’ve all worked so hard, so let’s enjoy our progress but not give up the gains we’ve made,” Faulconer said. “Whether you’re on the sand or at a shop this weekend, stay classy out there San Diego.”

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