NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Newport Beach has voted to keep its beaches open despite criticism by California’s governor that weekend crowds threatened efforts to slow the coronavirus.
The City Council voted Tuesday to reject a motion to close the beaches for the next three weekends, although the famous Wedge surfing spot is shut down.
The vote during a virtual meeting came after 80,000 people hit shores in the Orange County city last weekend when the first heat wave of the year sent temperatures soaring.
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Lifeguards said most people appeared to be obeying social distancing rules by maintaining distance between groups, but the city added many were not.
The city council supported having city staff manage the beaches at a level similar to the July Fourth weekend and issue citations for those violating the social distancing order.
Parking lots in beach areas will remain closed to limit visitors. Short-term rentals are also prohibited through May 20.