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Crowds flock to San Diego beaches for Fourth of July weekend

Posted at 3:26 PM, Jul 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-03 19:33:08-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – Crowds are already flocking to San Diego beaches for the Fourth of July weekend.

On Friday, many people claimed their spots early at Mission Beach and Oceanside.

While some were able to keep their distance from one another, many did not have on facial coverings when near other people.

“The majority of them are not wearing masks, I would say at this point in time,” said Rich Stropky, Marine Safety Lieutenant for San Diego lifeguards.

He said more people are expected to make their way to San Diego Saturday as other Southern California beaches will be closed.

Law enforcement agencies across San Diego have said they will focus on education, rather than enforcement when someone violates the public health order.

He said the parking lots at Mission Beach were full by noon Friday.

“As far as the capacity for our beaches, what has limited capacity in the past is the ability to park,” he said.

“How far are people willing to park and still walk to the beach? Are they going to Uber in? Are they going to do drop-offs?”

Stropky urged beachgoers to talk to lifeguards if they have any questions and to follow the public health order and original beach rules.

“We have our COVID safety guidelines, and we want everyone to adhere to that,” he said. “We have our beach regulations; there’s no glass, there’s no dogs between 9 and 6, there’s no camping.”

There’s also a beach hazard statement in effect this weekend. Lifeguards expect high surf and dangerous rip currents.

“Come talk to us; we want to give you the ins and outs of the beach and keep everybody safe and just have a wonderfully happy Fourth of July.”

Governor Gavin Newsom ordered state beaches in Southern California and the Bay Area to close temporarily.

To increase safety, the City of Oceanside decided to also close beach parking lots in Oceanside.

The goal is to minimize crowding, promote social distancing, and slow the spread of COVID-19.