LOS ANGELES - It’s the first weekend Los Angeles County beaches and hiking trails are closed. The closure is in response to last weekend’s turnout with thousands of people way too close to each other during this global pandemic. The county public health order includes closure of trails, beaches, piers, public bathrooms, beach access points, and beach bike paths.
Estelle Newman has a relative in New York with coronavirus so it’s especially upsetting for her to see people violating the order by going on the beach and using the path anyway.
“I guess they don’t have anyone who’s sick. We have someone in the family who is on a ventilator,” says Newman. “They’re violating the law. Every single person is disobeying the signs and I don’t know why somebody isn’t there, giving them tickets. A lot of my family lives in Canada. People are getting tickets,” Newman said.
Police did patrol the beaches more so than usual and threaten to give out citations or make arrests in extreme circumstances. Manhattan Beach Police fined a surfer Saturday morning for violating the closure order.
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Jacqueline Ramirez says she and her eight-year-old son are guilty of going on the path Saturday afternoon. “It’s hard to just be trapped inside all day, especially if you do have kids or just one kid that has to be surrounded by adults all day.”
LA County decided to close its beaches and trails until at least April 19th to help enforce social distancing in hopes of slowing the spread of COVID-19. People are allowed to exercise and walk their dogs in their neighborhoods, keeping a six-foot distance between their neighbors.
Residents can go out for essentials like groceries and medicine, otherwise, city leaders say, people are expected to be inside their homes.