HALF MOON BAY, Calif. (KRON) – Along the coast today, state parks officials are working to keep large crowds away from popular beaches.
On Tuesday, along the coast in San Mateo County, all of the parking lots at state beaches are closed as state parks try to slow the spread of coronavirus.
State park rangers were out putting up signs and caution tape at state park beaches.
Locked gates welcomed visitors at the multiple state beach parking lots in Half Moon Bay.
The state decided to shutdown these spots after large crowds of people flocked to the beaches this past weekend with some visitors apparently not respecting social distancing.
Neighbors in Half Moon Bay say it was a mess.
“Saturday was really nuts. there were people on the beaches in droves. I did not notice a lot of social distancing,” Louie Castoria said.
Even the governor was frustrated.
“Young people who are out there on the beaches thinking this is a party, time to grow up,” Governor Newsom said.
California state parks are hoping that by closing down these areas it will deter the large crowds, a move that has been mostly welcomed here in Half Moon Bay.
“It will help a lot. People will still park on Highway 1 and walk through the gate areas but they won’t get there cars through,” Castoria said.
But not everyone is happy about it.
With many public gathering places closed down due to the coronavirus outbreak, the beaches are one of the few places people can go to escape home confinement.
“This is one of the most populated areas in the world. It’s not healthy to be, especially when you have children. To be holed up inside. As long as you are out, and you are careful and you stay away from people, I think it’s necessary,” a Half Moon Bay resident said.
Technically, only the parking lots at these beaches are being closed.
California state parks also says that non-campground outdoor areas of parks, including trails and beaches, remain open.
Day use bathrooms are also still open, but state parks are reminding people to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer if you visit the bathrooms.