SANTA CRUZ COUNTY, Calif. (KION) Santa Cruz County said that because of "overwhelming weekend beach crowds," it will be putting new rules in place at local beaches during peak hours.
Santa Cruz County Health Officer Dr. Gail Newell is expected to issue new restrictions limiting beach activities as part of an updated Shelter in Place order.
Beaches will remain open for recreational activities that promote physical and mental health, but starting this weekend, beaches will be off-limits for all activities between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.
“Despite warnings against travelling to Santa Cruz County for beach access and against congregating on beaches, local law enforcement spent the weekend responding to numerous issues all along our coastline,” Sheriff Jim Hart said. “Unfortunately, these actions are necessary to protect the health and welfare of our most vulnerable residents. The Sheriff’s Office, the police departments and State Parks
will do everything we can to support the Health Officer and enforce her revised order.”
Activities such as lying, sitting, standing, sunbathing, sightseeing and other non-exercise related activities were already limited. Umbrellas, barbecues, coolers, beach chairs, shade structures, tents or other equipment will not be allowed.
The county said that water-based activities-- such as surfing, paddleboarding, boogie boarding, swimming, snorkeling and kayaking-- will not be affected, and community members can cross the beach to take part in those activities.
Parkways, sidewalks and trails next to beaches will stay open, and non-beach parts of local parks will not be affected, but they are subject to restrictions.
The county said the order will stay in effect until the Santa Cruz County Health Officer revises it.