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San Diego County beaches to begin reopening Monday

Niche: San Diego's safest suburbs
Posted at 2:53 PM, Apr 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-25 11:25:38-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- San Diego County authorities announced Friday that ocean access would begin opening by the end of April amid the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, the ocean will reopen with limited access starting at sunrise Monday. Swimming, surfing, kayaking, and paddle-boarding will be allowed on the ocean.

"It is appropriate at this point to open up limited access to the ocean, as a step in our continue progress in dealing with the challenges in front of us," Fletcher said. "We need the public's help to exercise the appropriate restraint."

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Boating will not be allowed at the moment, but included in a later phase of lifting limitations.

Fletcher added that cities would have options on whether or not to reopen beach access.

"It will be up to each and every one of [the cities] to determine if they want to open up the beaches Monday morning, or not, or when they choose to do it," Fletcher said.

Fletcher added that cities have the authority to be more restrictive in their beach access, but not less restrictive.

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Active and group sport restrictions (like volleyball, laying out, etc.) for the beach and beach parking lot closures will remain in effect, despite what cities decide about their beach access. Walking and running will be allowed under the county if beaches are open.

Friday's decision does not effect state beaches and state parks, which will be up to the state to decide.

The announcement also added that the county will begin to require residents to wear facial coverings in public starting on May 1.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer said at a later news conference that ocean access within the city will reopen Monday following county guidelines.

Del Mar and Solana Beach have decided not to reopen beaches on Monday. In a joint statement, city leaders say their beaches will remain closed until farther notice. The cities say they did not approve the phased approach to reopening established by the county and coastal cities. They are currently evaluating staffing, protocols, and logistics required to re-open.

The joint statement from the cities read in part:

"While Del Mar and Solana Beach participated in a regional discussion this week regarding a coordinated approach to reopening the beaches, the cities did not approve the phased approach referenced by the County of San Diego and City of San Diego. There was inadequate time for each respective city to share their unique concerns and needs for a coordinated approach to reopening the beaches.

Throughout the discussions, all parties, including the County, agreed reopening of the beaches and implementation of the two-phased approach would occur in accordance with State and Federal guidelines for re-opening based on Coronavirus data points for the region. However, the number of confirmed COVID cases reported today by the County of San Diego indicates a two-day high to-date rather than a downward or flattening trend.

As part of any reopening, the County’s order requires that limitations on parking and limiting beach activity to walking and running remain in effect, which means that the cities of Del Mar and Solana Beach need to evaluate how this could be implemented, including the necessary staffing and personal protective equipment for employees in order to monitor and enforce, as well as the associated costs."