Gov. Gavin Newsom to order all beaches closed, leaked memo says


A memo sent to California police chiefs says Gov. Gavin Newsom will order all beaches and state parks closed starting Friday, May 1, to curb spread of the coronavirus.

The California Police Chiefs Association sent the bulletin to its members Wednesday evening, April 29. Eric Nuñez, president of the association, said it was sent to give chiefs time to plan ahead of Newsom’s expected announcement Thursday.

Most state parks already are closed and many communities already have shut their beaches. But some of those open in Ventura and Orange counties attracted large crowds last weekend, drawing Newsom’s ire. He said Monday, April2 7, the crowds were an example of “what not to do” if the state wants to continue its progress fighting the virus.

In Newport Beach, some 80,000 visitors hit the beach over the weekend, although lifeguards said most people exercised social distancing. With criticism swirling, the Newport Beach City Council met Tuesday, April 28, and rejected a proposal to close the beaches for the next three weekends.

Many cities in San Diego County re-opened their beaches on Monday, April 27.

Newsom’s expected announcement comes as virus hospitalizations have flattened and some local governments have started relaxing stay-at-home orders.