City of Carlsbad prepares safety plans for holiday weekend
CARLSBAD (KUSI) – Sand and surf and plenty of sun- all the ingredients for a satisfying holiday weekend. Last year, 25,000 people showed up at the city beach in Carlsbad for Labor Day weekend.
It’s the prospect of thousands of people on the beach that’s prompted city officials to take action. They’ve developed with a safety plan to keep beach and holiday visitors from speeding the spread of COVID-19.
The beach parking lot on Ocean Street is closed for the 3 day weekend, as one means of keeping people from gathering.
There are extra bike, boat and ATV patrols at the beach and at the Agua Hedionda Lagoon. Lifeguards and police officers will be making rounds to remind people to keep a six-foot distance and wear a face covering.
The city also has tents set up in two locations near the beach to distribute free disposable face masks.
City staff is also visiting restaurants, shops, local hotels and short term vacation rentals to educate owners on the limits for occupancy. City spokesperson Kristina Ray said the emphasis is on education, and urging people to do the right thing.
Although police have the legal option of issuing written warnings, Ray said that hasn’t been done.
“Even though they may not agree with the health order, our message is ‘I protect you, you protect me,’ so if everything that you can do to protect the community helps businesses, and it helps other people who might be more vulnerable to the disease, we have found that people are pretty cooperative once we give them some gentle encouragement. We do have the ability to issue citations and we haven’t had to do that yet,” Ray said.