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California

From closed beaches to shut businesses, here’s what you can’t do this weekend

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Southern California officials have one message to residents already a bit stir crazy from more than a week of unprecedented restriction on movements due to coronavirus: Stay home.

This weekend brings even more restrictions than last weekend, when officials were alarmed by crowds flocking to beaches, parks and hiking trails.

Most beaches, trails, recreation areas and other points of interest are closed, including trails in Griffith Park and Runyon Canyon Park in Los Angeles. The state has also ordered parking lots closed at dozens of state beaches and parks.

But L.A. officials said it’s fine to walk or jog in your neighborhood or through neighborhood parks as long as you social distance.

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Closed

The U.S. Forest Service has closed campgrounds, picnic areas and other developed recreation sites in its forests statewide, including the Angeles

California’s state parks system has closed all campgrounds

Parking lots have been closed at the following state parks in L.A. County: Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook, El Matador State Beach, Leo Carrillo State Park, Los Angeles State Historic Park, Malibu Creek State Park, Malibu Lagoon State Beach, Point Dume State Beach, Robert H. Meyer Memorial State Beach, Topanga State Park and Will Rogers State Historic Park.

At the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, rangers said Tuesday they were closing all parking areas to vehicles and would stop issuing permits and leading public programs.

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These moves follow closures of Solstice Canyon in Malibu, the Santa Monica Mountains Visitor Center at King Gillette Ranch in Calabasas and the Satwiwa Native American Culture Center in Newbury Park. The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority has closed all of its parklands, trail and facilities — close to 75,000 acres of parkland, including all parks owned by the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy.

Parking lots also are closed at beaches operated by the L.A. County Department of Beaches and Harbors.

The county’s multi-use trails, trailheads and park facilities that serve as trail staging areas were closed Wednesday until further notice.

Many cities have restricted access to public facilities such as playgrounds, sports courts and fitness equipment often found in parks or along beaches.

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Following are closure details for specific communities.

Catalina Island: Closed to visitors.

Hermosa Beach: City officials said they would close the beach and and Strand beachfront walkway beginning at 6 a.m. Saturday.

Long Beach: Basketball courts, tennis courts, volleyball courts, dog parks, playgrounds, skate parks, picnic areas are closed and group exercise in parks is banned. Parking lots at city-owned parks and beaches will be closed through April 19. The city’s Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier also will be inaccessible during that time.

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Los Angeles: Besides the closure of city tennis courts and skate parks, the Venice pier and trails in Griffith Park and Runyon Canyon Park, virtually all other park facilities have already been shut down, including golf courses, pools and playgrounds

Malibu: L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva closed beach parking lots along Malibu’s 26 miles of coastline. Malibu Pier closed.

Manhattan Beach: The city has closed all beach parking lots at El Porto, Bruce’s Beach, and the Manhattan Beach Pier.

Rancho Palos Verdes: The Palos Verdes Nature Preserve, all city parks, beaches, community centers, amenities and trails are closed until further notice

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Redondo Beach: City officials closed the pier and boardwalk except to restaurant employees and customers picking up carry-out food orders at designated locations. The city also closed the Esplanade area; Veteran’s Park and nearby parking areas; all public walkways, stairways, ramps, and paths to the beach; and a coastal bluff trail between Knob Hill Avenue and George Freeth Way.

Santa Monica: Beach parking lots and the Santa Monica Pier are closed.

Torrance: The Madrona Marsh Preserve are closed at least through April 19, as are playgrounds, basketball, tennis, pickleball/paddle tennis, bocce and enclosed horseshoe courts. Sea Aire Golf Course is also closed.

Businesses

Local orders allow essential businesses such as grocery and drug stores, medical offices, healthcare companies, gas stations, auto repair and warehouse stores to remain open. California’s order has this basic breakdown:

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What stays open:

  • Pharmacies
  • Food: Grocery stores, farmers markets, food banks, convenience stores, takeout and delivery restaurants
  • Banks
  • Gas stations
  • Laundromats/laundry services
  • Essential state and local government functions including law enforcement and offices that provide government programs and services.

What is closed:

  • Bars and nightclubs
  • Entertainment venues
  • Gyms and fitness studios
  • Public events and gatherings
  • Convention Centers
  • Dine-in restaurants

Getting around

Los Angeles County sent a blunt alert to residents’ cellphones Friday: “Stay home this weekend, and weekends until April 19. Only travel to seek medical care, do essential business and run necessary errands.”

Other counties have gone further.

A health officer in California is urging people to exercise only in their own immediate neighborhoods, and to stop visiting family in other households.

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“For families in different households, do not mix your households at this time. As hard as this is, do not gather in any way outside of immediate households,” Dr. Scott Morrow, health officer in San Mateo County, said in a statement.

“As for outdoor exercise, people certainly need to get out, but do this in your own immediate neighborhoods,” Morrow said. “Do not drive except to provide or obtain an essential service. Do not go into other neighborhoods for recreation. This increases the risk of virus spread.”

Enforcement

Authorities said they will be out in force this weekend looking for scofflaws but are not planning to cite people if they comply with officers’ orders to go home.

The Los Angeles Police Department said its officers are not stopping people for violating the city’s Safer at Home restrictions.

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But officials have threatened to crack down on nonessential businesses that violate the order to close.

City Atty. Mike Feuer said he has assigned prosecutors to the task.

“In the strongest possible terms, I urge that Angelenos adhere to the ‘Safer at Home’ order, and non-essential businesses shut their doors,” Feuer said in a statement. “Those crucial steps protect all of us.”


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