Los Angeles County will close its beaches during the Fourth of July weekend in an effort to limit further spread of the coronavirus.
From just after midnight on July 3 to the early morning on July 6, "all public beaches, piers, public beach parking lots, [certain] beach bike paths ... and beach access points" will be closed, the county's health department ordered on Monday. Fireworks displays will also be banned during this time.
L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said this had to be done because "the Fourth of July holiday weekend typically means large crowds and gatherings, ... a recipe for increased transmission of COVID-19." She also cautioned residents "to take this virus more seriously," saying, "Physical distancing isn't optional, wearing a face covering isn't optional, spending time only with those you live with isn't optional — these are requirements in the Health Officer Order and are the tools we have to protect each other."
L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti also addressed the order during a news briefing on Monday.
"I know how much we look forward to this time of year; I know that we love seeing those firework exhibitions. But not this year. This year, we have to think about saving lives to protect what we have in this country, to protect who we are, and to make sure that our economy doesn't take more steps backward," Garcetti said.