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Santa Barbara County beaches under temporary closure for stationary activities for holiday weekend

Posted at 8:56 PM, Sep 06, 2020

Santa Barbara County Public Health Department officials prohibited stationary activities on county beaches during the Labor Day holiday weekend.

Despite the closures, crowds have continued to gather at several Santa Barbara County beaches to cool off during the heat wave.

Emily Mastellone-Snyder, a Santa Cruz resident who was at Refugio State Beach Sunday morning, said she is escaping the smokey weather from the CZU Lightning Complex.

"We're evacuees from the Santa Cruz mountains fire, so we've been staying in Santa Barbara to get out of the smoke," said Mastellone-Snyder.

According to Katherine Vickers, a park aid for the Santa Barbara Parks and Recreation Department, officials are also enforcing parking restrictions to keep visitors moving and distanced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"They have to be recreating the whole time on the beach, which means swimming, surfing, running, walking or fishing, but they can't lay on a blanket or a towel," said Vickers.

Visitors said they are still taking advantage of the opportunity to relax on the beach safely.

"I'm happy that we can walk in, get in the water and get a little cool down and feel like we still can keep our family safe and keep others safe," said Mastellone-Snyder.

Los Angeles resident Ilias Stothart said vacationing on the central coast during the pandemic feels like a getaway from city life.

"It's nice to get away from the city for the weekend," said Stothart.

While not everyone was satisfied with the new regulations, California State Parks officials said Sunday most visitors and community members were able to follow social distancing.