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Santa Monica Beaches, Pier Closed Over Holiday Weekend
By Jorge Casuso
June 30, 2020 -- Santa Monica beaches, as well as the Pier, will be closed over Independence Day weekend, with LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva saying his department would take a "Care First, Jail Last" approach.
The City order Friday came after County Health officials issued a modified Health Order closing LA County beaches over the holiday weekend to help prevent gatherings and crowds that may spread COVID-19.
Under the order, all beaches, beach parking lots, beach bike paths, beach facilities and beach accessways will be closed from 12:01 a.m. Friday, July 3, until 5 a.m. Monday, July 6.
“With a sharp rise in confirmed COVID-19 cases, public health authorities are encouraging residents across LA County to stay at home as much as possible during the Fourth of July holiday weekend,” said Interim City Manager Lane Dilg.
“As hard as it can be to stay at home, it is as important as ever in this pandemic as we work together to save lives and protect the progress we’ve made," said Dilg, who is also the City's Director of Emergency Services.
L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva told Fox News on Tuesday that his department wasn't consulted on the County order and "will only assist our beach cities in closing parking lots and traffic enforcement on PCH."
In a subsequent Tweeter post, Villanueva said that "beach patrol will be patrolling the county beaches to ensure public safety."
City spokesperson Constance Farrell said the City already had planned to beef up enforcement over the weekend.
"We're obviously following the County orders," Farrell said. "We will have additional code compliance.
"Right now, we're urging people not to go to the beach and not gather," she said.
The temporary beach and pier closures are part of a supplemental order issued by the City Monday that extends Santa Monica’s local emergency declaration and all associated orders to July 31, 2020.
Later expiration dates stated in specific supplemental orders remain unchanged, City officials said.
Monday's order exempts the following provisions that will resume July 1:
The City’s plastic bag ban which means customers can start bringing reusable bags when making essential trips.
Parking citations associated with monthly street sweeping.
Towing for violations of the California Vehicle Code relating to abandoned vehicles.
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