Los Angeles County officials have closed all of the county’s public beaches, beach bike paths, trails and piers through April 19 to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
“The County of Los Angeles and its Department of Public Health observed an unusually high volume of beach and trail users on March 21 and 22, which seriously impeded the beach and trail users’ practice of safe and necessary social distancing measures. This heavy amount of beach and trail use by numerous groups of people does not allow for safe social distancing, and therefore seriously impedes community efforts to stem the local transmission of COVID-19. Accordingly, this Order is necessary to both enforce social distancing measures and stem the spread of COVID-19 within the community,” the county’s public health order states.
Los Angeles is currently under a “safer at home” order, which has gone into effect alongside a statewide “stay at home” order from Gov. Gavin Newsom. Residents are allowed to leave their homes for essential activities, such as getting groceries or picking up medication from the pharmacy, and may go exercise outside in their neighborhoods so long as they stay 6 ft. away from others.
Earlier this week, L.A. County also closed all sports and recreation facilities at the city’s public parks, as well as popular outdoor hiking and walking destinations like Runyon Canyon and the trails at Griffith Park.
“These are difficult decisions, but I agree they are vitally needed steps to protect the health and safety of our communities, and save lives,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said of the new closures on Twitter.
Santa Monica Mayor Kevin McKeown, who oversees a city perhaps best known for its beach and pier, said that residents could still exercise and get fresh air in Santa Monica’s neighborhood parks, which are still open, so long as they remained 6 ft. away from others.
“Santa Monicans cherish our walks on our beach, but we are complying with County Health recommendations to protect all of us and our families from preventable exposure to illness,” McKeown said in a statement. “The beach is a regional resource, and we’re all part of the regional effort to flatten the curve of COVID-19.”