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Santa Barbara Co. beaches to close over Labor Day weekend

Posted at 8:14 AM, Aug 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-28 20:47:50-04

Beaches in Santa Barbara County will be closed over Labor Day weekend.

The restrictions were announced Wednesday for stationary activities at the beach including sitting, lying, standing, picking and similar activities.

Access to the ocean for water sports or other physical activities will be allowed.

“Reduced disease transmission is critical in the fight against COVID-19. We anticipate a high volume of visitors at our beaches during the Labor Day weekend, which will impede the practice of safe and necessary social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Santa Barbara County,” said Dr. Henning Ansorg in a press release. “Our community has remained diligent in their efforts and now is the time to protect all the positive outcomes we have accomplished

The restrictions will be in effect from Friday, Sept. 4, through Monday, Sept. 7.

The Meichtry Family has never missed a holiday camping trip at Refugio State Beach until this year, due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“They canceled our first two because of COVID but I understand, got to keep the elderly and people with underlying health conditions safe,” said Bob Meichtry, camper at the Refugio State Beach.

Some Santa Barbara beachgoers understand the restrictions are in place to limit crowds.

"If everyone is doing the same thing because everyone has that holiday, then everyone will be right next to each other,” said Mikita Tournebise, who’s visiting from Santa Cruz. "It's best to stay safe one weekend and keep everything on the flat curve.”

Others, like Meichtry, are surprised to learn of the beach limitations.

‘We'll all be lining the walkway here with our chairs since we can't put them on the sand, we'll put them right here along the road,” Meichtry said.

Businesses like Wheel Fun Rentals in Santa Barbara are expecting revenue impacts from the closures.

“Probably a 30 to 40% drop in the business for the weekend,” said Charles Drew, manager of Wheel Fun Rentals. “In the world right now, I think it's necessary for them to do, otherwise, it will get very crowded."

As of now, no restrictions are in place for San Luis Obispo County Beaches.

Beaches were also closed in Santa Barbara County over the Fourth of July holiday weekend.