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California Highway Patrol encourages essential-only travel over holiday weekend

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KION

MONTEREY COUNTY, Calif. (KION) Shelter in Place orders didn't stop some from visiting the Central Coast, Friday. "For 40 years we come every Memorial Day to Carmel," said visitor, Tanya Jones.

This year was no different for Jones and her husband who traveled down from the Sacramento area. Others have made the trip as well, while the California Highway Patrol is encouraging all Californians to only travel for essential actives.

Law enforcement continue to stress the importance of physical distancing. Many beaches have stayed open in Monterey County, but only for exercise. "There's not much we can do. We will probably just stay home and walk at the beach," said peninsula resident, Aragon Antonio.

In Santa Cruz County, the health officer has closed all beaches during day hours. After 5 p.m. people can visit, but only to walk or run.

"A lot of people from the Central Valley, Sacramento and Bay Area are coming down here under the impression that the beaches are open for leisurely activities. Right now they are not," said Ashley Kheen with the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office.

The California Highway Patrol will start maximum enforcement on the road at 6 p.m., Friday. Last year, they made over 1,000 DUI arrests and reported 34 collision-related deaths.

Even with less people on the road this year, officers remind everyone that the rules still apply. “Obey the speed limit, fasten your seat belt, drive sober, and put down your phone," said California Highway Patrol Commissioner, Warren Stanley.

Coronavirus / Monterey County / News / Santa Cruz County

Megan Meier

Megan Meier is a multi-media journalist at KION News Channel 5/46.

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