With warm weather ahead, cities to enforce beach restrictions

Posted at 5:40 PM, Apr 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-21 22:11:38-04

With warmer weather on the way, more people are expected at our beaches.

It's important to keep in mind however, that there are still restrictions in place.

"I think it will be really crowded this weekend especially as people are going a little weary of staying at home and want to be outside," said Beachgoer, Liz Zimmerman.

Signs are posted that gatherings are no more, just walking only.

"So today, when I was walking the beach, it was the first time I've seen a Pismo Beach police car, driving down the beach," Zimmerman said.

Pismo PD is gearing up for what could be a busy week ahead.

"If we see crowds, we definitely have a plan in place in order to address that," said Jorge Garcia, City of Pismo Beach Management Services Director.

Back on March 25, the Pismo Beach Pier closed. Starting a day later, parking lots and meters were limited to just one hour.

"To continue to help and remind and encourage folks that the beach is not there for recreation. It's not there to have a gathering or play a game of volleyball," Garcia said.

Now with sunnier days ahead...

"We're anticipating that some folks will want to get out and exercise. We hope that's what they limit it to," Garcia explained.

"It is just really nice to walk down the beach and get outside for a little bit but I still think it's really important to social distance," Zimmerman added.

That's also the message from San Luis Obispo County Public Health.

"Enjoy the outside but be safe about it," said Michelle Shoresman, San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department Public Information Officer.

"Since this started, we've adjusted our shifts, our patrols, in order to ensure that there's enforcement to the shelter-at-home order," Garcia explained.

The City of Pismo Beach says it has not issued one citation.

"We have had to remind folks about the shelter-at-home order," Garcia said.

Restrictions in Avila Beach are less than a week old and lifeguards and harbor patrol officers say they've recorded just shy of 500 contacts.

"I come down to the beach a lot during the week and last weekend was nothing like that. Really crowded, a lot of people out," Zimmerman said.

With extra enforcement planned on the sand, it's an important reminder to follow the restrictions to keep everyone safe.

"I can't imagine not having this place as just an outlet and just a place to refresh and just be in nature," said Beachgoer, Whitney Barr.

For more information on beach restrictions in Pismo Beach and Morro Bay, click here. For more information on restrictions in Avila Beach, click here.