The city of Monterey is shutting down its beaches to all activities except water sports and imposing a mandatory facial covering order that comes with a $100 fine for the first offense ahead of the Fourth of July weekend and in the wake of rising Covid-19 cases, the city announced on July 1.
The emergency facial covering order goes into effect immediately. The city’s code enforcement officer has the authority to cite without warning anyone not covering their faces in commercial areas of the city, Monterey City Manager Hans Uslar stated in a press release.
“People and businesses know by now that masks are required and we have to compel compliance to reduce the spread of the virus,” Uslar said. “Our educational approach has shown success yet we need to do much better.”
Del Monte, San Carlos and McAbee beaches will be closed on Saturday and Sunday. Only ocean activities such as swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, surfing and others will be allowed, but no hanging out on the sand.
No parking signs will be posted on neighborhood streets around Del Monte Beach, as well as the Monterey Bay Park Parking Lot and Sand Dunes Drive near the Monterey Tides Hotel. The Waterfront Lot in front of and behind Dust Bowl Brewery will remain open.
“Every one of us has to celebrate with care this Fourth of July,” Monterey Mayor Clyde Roberson stated in the release. “These weekend restrictions may not be popular, but they are imperative to save lives and reduce the spread of Covid-19 in our community.”
Over in Carmel, Carmel Beach will be open to walking, running and water activities, but no laying out beach towels and bringing coolers or other items is allowed. It’s the same restrictions that were in place over Memorial Day weekend but it did not deter hundreds of people to show up and hang out.
Carmel City Administrator Chip Rerig says Carmel Police are increasing patrols on the beach this weekend. Some parking restrictions will be in place, including a two-hour time limit in the Del Mar parking area.
As of today, Wednesday, Pacific Grove has not announced any beach closures. City Manager Ben Harvey says he’s not recommending any to the P.G. City Council, but it may come up at tonight’s meeting that begins streaming at 6:00.