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Most San Diegans obey rules, excited about weekend beach re-opening

Posted at 4:17 PM, May 02, 2020

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — It's the first weekend since the coronavirus pandemic hit that many San Diego County coasts are back open to the public.

Many were happy to obey the strict public health order, as long as they got to enjoy their beaches.

San Diego County's coasts are back open with limitations. The county reminds folks that facial coverings must be worn when coming within six-feet from others, and there is absolutely no congregating or sitting on the sand.

"The waves are really good," Sydney Nicholson said. She, her younger sister, and parents were enjoying their day at Mission Beach.

For many, access to water was a welcome delight. Zacarias Navarrete renewed his annual fishing license Saturday, hoping to hook some dinner.

"I'm just trying to take advantage now, and if they have to close, they have to do it," Navarrete said.

Solo-kayak fishing is one of the newly allowed activities off Mission Bay. Navarrete said it's a sport where social distancing comes naturally.

"Social distancing is easy on the water because no one wants to crash or get hurt," Navarrete said. "We all need our sun protection, which doubles as mask protection."

But not all Californians are this lucky. Our neighbors to the north still do not have access to beaches this weekend.

"We're going to do a hard close, just in that part of the state, just in the Orange County area," Governor Gavin Newsom said in Thursday's press conference.

He announced the closure after last weekend helicopter video captured thousands of beach-goers in Huntington Beach and Newport Beach congregating on the sand, ignoring the public health order.

That is why Steve and Nancy Costley came down to Mission Beach this weekend.

"The protest and crowds in Huntington are not social distancing or wearing anything," Steve Costley said. "They're just running around."

The couple from Norwalk usually goes to Huntington Beach. But not this time. They said they are pleasantly surprised by the way San Diegans are handling the order.

"They seem to be really obeying the rules," Nancy Costley said. "They're even walking around each other."

Keeping a close eye were San Diego Police officers, educating people about this newly earned privilege and what they need to do to keep it.

Del Mar and Solana Beach will reopen their beaches on May 4. Carlsbad is also looking towards the Monday reopening but is waiting for confirmation from State Parks, which controls six miles of Carlsbad's coastline.