As a spring heat wave warms SoCal, restrictions on beaches continue


Logan Bik

With temperatures rising in Los Angeles, the beaches remain closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Samantha Bravo, Assistant Campus Editor

As temperatures rise in Los Angeles, authorities continue to urge the community to stay indoors this weekend to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Many individuals are tempted to head to the beach, go hiking and visit seasonal flower fields such as the poppy fields in Antelope Valley as summer approaches.

In line with the state of California and LA County, Santa Monica’s safer-at-home orders remain in effect until May 15. While parks and beaches remain closed, the Mayor of Santa Monica Kevin McKeown encouraged residents to take walks around their neighborhood or local parks while practicing social distancing and wearing face covers.

The City of Malibu joins the Los Angeles County Public Health Department in enforcing restrictions and continues to monitor the orders until it is safe to go outdoors.

“The city urges Malibu residents to help protect our seniors and vulnerable people by staying safe at home to slow the spread of coronavirus, and enjoy the outdoors locally in your backyard and neighborhood,” the post states.

The City of Malibu reminded residents on social media that all beaches, parks, trails and parking areas in Malibu remain closed along with Santa Monica Mountains trailheads. Temporary no parking zones were placed along Pacific Coast Highway. Despite the cones, visitors continue to park on PCH.

“Violations of the closures could result in citations and fines,” the post states.

The LA County Sheriff’s Department, Lifeguards, Sheriff’s Volunteers Patrol and the Malibu Community Emergency Response Team volunteers will be monitoring areas in Malibu and enforcing closures. The county and state stay-at-home orders still prohibit unnecessary travels.

On April 7, the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve announced the closure of its trails, parks and restrooms until further notice. The wildflower bloom generally occurs from mid March through April.

Prior to the closure of the poppy reserve trails, the Parks and Recreation department turned to social media to encourage the public to follow safety orders.

“If visitors cannot maintain a social distance of six feet or more when outdoors, they need to leave the park,” the article states. “During these difficult times, protecting park staff, volunteers, partners and visitors from the exposure to coronavirus is critical.”

LA Mayor Eric Garcetti continues to encourage residents to stay-at-home, telling them not to be tempted to violate those restrictions.

“I know many of you are feeling frustrated or wondering when we’ll be able to lift the safer-at-home order, but lifting the restrictions too soon could risk lives,” Garcetti posted on Twitter. “My promise to the people of LA is that evidence and medicine will continue to guide us through this crisis.”

Practicing social distancing and wearing protective face coverings is now required while outdoors, however Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not provide information whether wearing face masks during physical activities is safe to do so.

LA County Parks and Recreation launched #ParksFromHome, a virtual recreation center which features free art and sports classes, virtual tours of trails, gardens and popular LA County attractions on their main website.

The City of Ventura implemented soft closures on beaches on April 21. Walking, running and surfing is permitted, but activities like sunbathing and lounging under umbrellas are not. San Diego County announced Friday that coastal cities may reopen beach access for swimming, surfing, paddleboarding and kayaking. Visitors may cross the beach to enter the water, however, the pier, parking lot and boardwalks remain closed.

For more information on state park resources, follow the parks and recreation website for closures and restrictions.