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California

Surfer fined $1,000 for ignoring coronavirus closure in Manhattan Beach

A man received a $1,000 citation for surfing in Manhatthan Beach on Saturday after he ignored numerous warnings by police and lifeguards cautioning him not to go in the water because of the coronavirus beach closures.

Manhattan Beach Police Sgt. Mike Sistoni said it was the only citation for failing to follow the stay-at-home orders the department had issued.

“Everybody else was in compliance,” Sistoni said. “People have been pretty good about it.”

Authorities were out in force over the weekend to make sure people were staying away from beaches, parks and hiking trails as part of unprecedented restrictions on public movements to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

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Most beaches, trails, recreation facilities as well as nonessential businesses were closed because of the state and local orders, and many people obeyed.

A Ventura County Sheriff’s Department cruiser could be seen guarding the entrance to a popular trail in Wildwood Regional Park in Thousand Oaks, upon which hundreds of hikers and families descended on Saturday. In Venice, a Los Angeles Police Department helicopter was seen circling a skate park, announcing that people who did not leave the area would be “arrested for trespassing.”

Still, some crowds continued to flock to some outdoor areas, officials said.

Many state parks already were closed to vehicle traffic, but those that remained open Saturday “once again experienced visitation surges that made it impossible for the public to implement appropriate social/physical distancing practices,” California State Parks said in a statement.

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As a result, the state parks system announced Sunday that it was temporarily cutting off vehicle access to all 280 state parks.


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