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Pismo Beach Police increase staffing to enforce social distancing as people flock to beach

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Posted at 8:02 PM, Apr 25, 2020

As temperatures hit the 80's Saturday, local departments increased their staffing to make sure beach and park goers followed social distancing rules.

Crowds could be seen at Pismo Beach, but as police officers patrol the beach, some city officias urged beachgoers to maintain six feet distance or face potential beach closures.

“We have extra patrols throughout our beach areas as well as our parks in order to make sure people are safe and abiding by the shelter at home order and the physical distancing requirements,” said Jorge Garcia, Pismo Beach management services director..

Other safety measures include closing the Pismo Pier and limiting parking to an hour at city-owned parking lots.

Garcia said it's important that community members go back home after they've been outdoors to continue abiding by the shelter-at-home order.

According to Garcia, if the crowds become too overwhelming, the police department and the city manager will then work together to potentially issue an order to close the beaches.

The Pismo Preserve closed down after there were too many people hiking the trails and not social distancing.

In Santa Barbara County, officials said parking lots began seeing an influx of cars at about 8:00 a.m. Saturday.

County officials said park staff will be monitoring parks regularly and watching for people violating social distancing guidelines about congregating.

Some beaches have had their parking lots closed in order to limit large gatherings over the weekend.

“Be respectful and kind to other people in the parks. Try to make your visits short, maybe an hour or just a little more, so you can get out and enjoy yourselves but then go home,” said Jeff Lindgren, the parks superintendent for Santa Barbara County.

Many of these restrictions including parking lot closures at county parks and Morro Bay Harbor are in place to discourage people from out of the area from swarming the beach.