Memorial Day holiday sees less crowds in Mission Beach this year
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – San Diegans headed for area beaches during Memorial Day weekend. Lifeguard Services officials on Saturday said beachgoers seemed to be following county health guidelines issued to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
At La Jolla beaches, it was a “pretty routine” day on Saturday, according to Marine Safety Lt. Maureen Hodges of Lifeguard Services.
“Lifeguards made some rescues,” Hodges said. “But so far, we’re off to a good start here in La Jolla.”
Lifeguards were focusing on water safety and making sure runners and walkers kept moving on the sand, Hodges said. She encouraged beachgoers to come to the beach, get their exercising in, then leave.
“We want all San Diegans and visitors to enjoy our beaches,” Lifeguard Chief James Gartland said Friday. “However, the public health rules that are in place must be followed this weekend. We expect a lot of visitors and will work closely with our partners at San Diego Police Department to make sure everyone stays safe.”
The rules for beaches and shorelines state that only walking and running are allowed.
“No stopping, sitting or lying down,” the rules state.
In the ocean, only swimming, surfing, kayaking and single-person paddling are allowed.
In San Diego bays, single-household recreational boating is allowed, along with fishing, but not from the shoreline. No swimming on the bay and Mission Bay Park.
Boardwalks, piers, parking lots and Fiesta Island are closed. Gatherings and non-physical distancing activities are not allowed anywhere.
Mayor Kevin Faulconer asked San Diegans on Friday to “follow public health rules that keep us safe.”
“We’ve all worked so hard, so let’s enjoy our progress but not give up the gains we’ve made,” Faulconer said. “Whether you’re on the sand or at a shop this weekend, stay classy out there, San Diego.”
The county reopened dine-in restaurants and retail shopping Thursday, but health officials saw “egregious” disregard for public health orders, so one business was forced to close on Friday.
A video clip played at Friday’s news briefing taken at El Prez, a popular Pacific Beach sports bar and restaurant, showed dozens of people in close physical contact without face coverings standing at the bar. The restaurant was closed by the county and will “remain closed until further notice,” said San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher.
He said the vast majority of restaurateurs are following health orders and not endangering the public, but a few “bad faith actors” could seriously impact the county’s efforts to recover from the effects of COVID-19.
Restaurants and shops must fill out the county’s Safe Reopening Plan form and post it publicly to reopen, Fletcher said.
Some of the guidelines restaurants must adhere to include having tables six feet apart, having temperature screening of employees, requiring facial coverings on employees at all times and on customers unless they are seated, and encouraging reservations.