NEWPORT BEACH (CBSLA) — Starting Friday, Newport Beach will close the Wedge during the day in an effort to keep surfers and their fans at bay to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Newport Beach firefighters made the recommendation after seeing large crowds of surfers and spectators at the Wedge this past week for a storm-driven swell — in violation of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s stay-at-home order.

READ MORE: No-Burn Order Extended Through Friday For Much Of Southland

The Wedge will be shut down between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., and city officials have established temporary fencing from West Harbor Jetty to M Street.

RELATED: OC Will Not Require Face Masks For Essential Workers; Zero New Deaths Reported

READ MORE: Parolee Aariel Maynor Arrested In Connection With Jacqueline Avant Killing After Shooting Himself In The Foot

The popular surfing destination is usually closed for those hours from May 1 through Oct. 31, but the closure has been moved up amid the global pandemic.

City officials said beach traffic has been significantly down, by as much as 95% or more, since Newsom’s order went into effect and the city closed beach parking lots.

MORE NEWS: COVID Omicron Variant Detected In Vaccinated Minnesotan Who Traveled To NYC Anime Convention

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)