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Santa Monica Closes Beach Lots
 

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By Lookout Staff

March 22, 2020 -- Santa Monica closed its beach parking lots Sunday after thousands flocked to the city's coastline in defiance of State orders to stay at home and not gather in large groups during the coronavirus emergency.

Over the weekend, large numbers of beachgoers defied State and local health directives that prohibit gatherings and call for social distancing of non-household members, officials said.

“Today is not the day to go to the beach," said City Manager Rick Cole. "We know that it’s difficult to stay at home when the weather is so nice and being close to the beach is one of the primary reasons why we love to call Santa Monica home.

“Yet this is a time when we must take the guidelines from our health officials to heart," Cole said. "We urge our residents to avoid any public spaces where social distancing is a challenge.”

City officials closed the beach lots Sunday effective immediately and advised all residents and visitors to avoid the beach, beach bike path, and Palisades Park over the coming days "to protect themselves and others."

Residents of Santa Monica who live near the beach and hold residential parking permits for the lots can continue to park, as well as essential personnel consistent with the Governor's Stay at Home and the County Department of Public Health's Safer at Home orders.

"As a beach city we know the draw to be outside and in nature is more powerful than ever," City officials said in a statement issued Sunday, "but to truly have an impact in our region and state, we must all remain at home and six feet from others when out for essential trips only."

On Thursday, Governor Gavin Newsome ordered California's 40 million residents to stay home after state health officials estimated 25.5 million Californians could be infected over an eight-week period.

Under the mandatory order, people can continue to visit gas stations, pharmacies, grocery stores, farmers markets, food banks, convenience stores, takeout and delivery restaurants, banks and laundromats.

Essential state and local government functions will also remain open, including law enforcement and offices that provide government programs and services.

For information on COVID-19 related closures, visit santamonica.gov/coronavirus-cancellations or call the Santa Monica coronavirus hotline: (310) 458-8400.


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