The Californian beaches, on any regular day, welcomes thousands of people from across different walks of life. Unfortunately, due to the global pandemic, the first warm weekend of this spring saw emptiness reign in Santa Monica beach.
Even as the beach in Santa Monica seemed deserted, people rushed to Orange and Ventura County beaches as temperatures crossed 80ºF.
Despite orders from the governor and local authorities to stay home and restrict unnecessary travel, thousands of people came out into the open to enjoy the warm sand in the Californian beaches.
Tom Higgins, Ventura Police Cmdr, said that the crowd on Saturday was larger than what they are used to even on regular weekends.
No arrests or citations related to this particular event have been issued, as reported by Heather Rangel, press information officer, Newport Beach Police Department. Local authorities claimed that the beachgoers maintained social distancing regulations.
Californian beaches, at times like this, maybe a luxury that we can’t afford
A spokesperson for Huntington Beach Police Department, Saturday, told the press that it was decided that Huntington Beach was to be kept open but the parking lots were to remain shut. She also mentioned that people were following precautionary measures amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
“What the patrol officers are seeing is that people are staying within their own groups and appropriate distances apart. It’s been a nice, warm day, and it sounds like people are complying and doing what we are asking of them,” she said.
The Californian beachgoers were not welcomed so warmly in other parts of the state. Authorities in Laguna Beach and Seal Beach decided to shut down any entry into these beaches.
Lisa Bartlett, Orange County Supervisor, told reporters earlier this week that the visitors they were encountering in their beaches were mostly from L.A and San Diego.
124 new coronavirus cases were reported in Orange County on Saturday. This is by far the fastest growth of cases in a day.