Information on the Governor's Executive Order 

Council Advises Staff to Maintain Beach Access with Additional Enforcement of Social Distancing

Post Date:04/28/2020 7:09 pm
The City Council has advised staff to maintain accessibility to the Newport Beach coastline for exercise and recreation, with a greater police and lifeguard presence to more actively enforce social distancing directives. The Council action followed a busy Friday and Saturday in Newport Beach as thousands of visitors sought to escape the Southern California heatwave. The vast majority of the beach visitors this weekend were practicing social distancing, but many were not.

The Council majority expressed a strong desire to keep most public beaches, parks and open spaces accessible for the mental health and physical wellbeing of residents. Council members supported having City staff manage the beaches at a level similar to the crowded 4th of July weekend, and issue citations for those in violation of the social distancing order.

All City parking lots in the beach areas will be closed to limit the number of visitors. Popular gathering spots such as the Oceanfront Boardwalk, Newport and Balboa piers, and the Wedge beach area will remain closed. Based on previous Council action, short-term rentals are prohibited through May 20.

The Council’s action aligns with guidance of the State and County public health agencies, as well as the California Coastal Commission’s admonition that “recreational beach and coastal access also play important roles in maintaining mental and emotional health, especially during times of stress.”

While most of the beachgoers last weekend were practicing responsible social distancing, the volume of visitors generated significant neighborhood impacts and ran counter to guidance from California State Parks to “stay close to home when you get outdoors. This is not the time for a road trip to a destination park or beach.”  

The City will continue to communicate the critical importance of responsible social distancing and adherence to the Governor’s “stay at home” order during the upcoming weekends.


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The Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is responding to an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in China and has now been detected globally. The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”).

The City of Newport Beach is working with federal, state, and local partners including the CDC, the OC Health Care Agency (OCHCA), and health care providers to prepare and appropriately care for people who may be at risk for illness associated with COVID-19 or who have tested positive for COVID-19. This is a rapidly changing situation, and we will share more as we are updated from our colleagues at the local, state and/or federal level.

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  • The Governor of California enacted an Executive Order for all individuals living in the State of California to stay home or at their place of residence except for essential needs
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  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
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