By Chris Jennewein, Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association
Photo: The parking lot at Oceans Beach Pier. File photo by Chris Stone
July 4, 2020 (San Diego) - The California Office of Emergency Services sent a letter to city officials in San Diego, Imperial Beach, Coronado, Del Mar, Solana Beach, Encinitas, Carlsbad and Oceanside imploring them to also close beach parking lots.
Carlsbad, Encinitas and Oceanside have complied with the request, but Imperial Beach, Coronado, Del Mar, Solana Beach and Encinitas said their beach parking lots remain open. There was no immediate word from San Diego.
The letter on Friday came after California closed parking lots at state beaches through Sunday. Those beaches include Cardiff, Leucadia, Moonlight, San Elijo, Torrey Pines State Beach, San Onofre, Carlsbad State Beach and Silver Strand.
“At the time of writing, beaches under the jurisdiction of local governments within San Diego County are the only beaches without visitation restrictions throughout all of Southern California, and therefore are attracting thousands of residents from outside your coastal communities and creating significant potential for disease transmission, particularly in crowded restaurants, bars, retail, and hotels,” the letter stated. “To protect the public health of San Diegans and reduce the high potential transmission of this deadly disease in San Diego coastal businesses, we write to request that municipal governments do not open beach parking lots for the July 4th holiday weekend.”
“By keeping parking lots closed, we can help limit beach access in San Diego to San Diegans only, to protect the health of residents and reduce the high likelihood of disease transmission in surrounding San Diego restaurants, bars, and businesses,” according to the letter. “Closure of beach parking lots could discourage day-trips from other communities.”
Carlsbad said that in addition to closing its beach parking lots, lifeguards and police officers will be providing masks to help reduce spread of COVID-19 on the single city-owned beach.