The Weekend Is Here - A Look At New Local Beach Rules

May 1, 2020


The weekend is here and California Governor Gavin Newsom just closed beaches in Orange County. Locally, there are various beach restrictions along the Central Coast. Cities and counties have different rules and it can be confusing. We help sort it out.

KAZU’s Doug McKnight interviewed KAZU’s Erika Mahoney.


Doug McKnight (DM): Are there any rules that apply to all of the local beaches?

Erika Mahoney (EM): You can still exercise at the beach, but you must maintain social distancing and face coverings are recommended. You can’t gather in groups or hang out on the sand. 

Monterey City Manager Hans Uslar did a good job of summing up what you can’t do here on the Central Coast. 

“No sitting or lounging or sunbathing. No picnicking. No barbecues, no campfire. No group sports,” said Uslar. 

And no beach equipment. It’s a long list, but you can swim and surf and do other water based activities and walk or run on the beach. 

DM: But in Santa Cruz County, there are certain times you can’t exercise on the beach, right? 

EM: Right. Beginning this weekend in Santa Cruz County, all activities on the sand are not allowed between the hours of 11am and 5pm. So that includes things like jogging. However, you can walk across the beach to surf, boogie board, kayak, etc.. Water based activities are allowed anytime. 

DM: What happens if people ignore these rules?

EM: Santa Cruz County Sheriff Jim Hart says they’re getting serious about violations. Deputies always start with warnings, but the fine is up to $1,000. Here’s Hart. 

“You know, if there was a large group of people from out of the area on the beach, that might be treated differently than, say, if it was a family group walking on the beach and they just didn't know,” Hart said. 

Local officials say you should workout near your home. 


A picture of Carmel River State Beach during the first week of Monterey County's Shelter-in-Place order. Recently, beaches have been crowded, leading to new rules.
Credit Erika Mahoney

As Governor Newsom put it earlier this week, he wants people to see the sunset, but not linger outdoors.