San Diego fire and lifeguard chiefs: Gatherings of any size are prohibited at beaches and parks

San Diego City Hall
San Diego City Hall
(John Gastaldo)

City of San Diego closing public parking lots at all city-run beaches and parks

Following a statewide “Stay At Home” order issued last week to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, San Diego Fire-Rescue Chief Colin Stowell and Lifeguard Division Chief James Gartland remind San Diegans March 22 that gatherings of any size are prohibited at all beaches and parks.

In light of reports of groups at parks and beaches this weekend, the City of San Diego is closing public parking lots serving all city-operated parks and beaches to discourage gatherings and encourage physical distancing.

“Public health officials are clear that gatherings of any size can lead to the spread of COVID-19, which is why they continue to be prohibited everywhere, including at beaches and parks,” Fire-Rescue Chief Colin Stowell said. “Local and state rules limiting groups have been in effect for days, so this should not be a surprise to anyone.”

“People can still go for a walk or run or bike ride, but they should do it while following physical distancing rules,” said Lifeguard Division Chief James Gartland. “The Stay At Home order makes clear that this is not a time for parties, it’s a time to protect the public health.”

More information on the recent state order, including what’s closed, what’s open and which industries are exempt by the state can be found on the California Covid-19 response website at

For information regarding COVID-19 cases and directives from County of San Diego public health officials, please visit -- City of San Diego news release