HUNTINGTON BEACH (CBSLA) – State authorities have given the Orange County cities of Huntington Beach, Seal Beach and Dana Point the go-ahead to reopen several of their beach areas, but under strict protocols, officials announced Tuesday.
The California National Resources Agency reported that it approved reopening plans submitted by each of the three cities.
“State agencies have determined the plans are consistent with the governor’s stay-at-home order…and that beach access can be restored in these communities,” CNRA said in a news release.
The Huntington Beach coastline — including Huntington State Beach and Bolsa Chica State Beach — will be open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily for active recreational activities only, such as surfing, swimming, paddleboarding, running, biking and walking. Visitors must maintain physical distancing. Huntington Harbor’s beach areas remain closed.
In the city of Dana Point, Doheny State Beach and Dana Cove Beach are now open to recreational activity such as surfing and running. However, Capistrano, Salt Creek and Strands beaches, which are owned by the county, remain closed.
The city of Newport Beach Tuesday reported that it was still waiting on CNRA to find out if its own reopening proposal had been approved.
Laguna Beach and San Clemente were given approval to reopen Monday on limited footing. Laguna Beach is only allowed to open its beaches on weekdays, from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m.
All this comes after California Gov. Gavin Newsom on April 30 controversially ordered the temporary closure of all O.C. beaches after they got large crowds the weekend prior. The closure prompted major protest.
“We were cooped up in the house, it was really hot,” said one mother, who brought her family to Huntington Beach Tuesday. “We learned that Huntington Beach is open, so we hopped in the car and made the trek over.”
Others agreed that, as long as everyone abides by the rules, the beaches should stay open.
“I think it’s wonderful,” said one man. “I think we need to have the freedom and the ability to come out here and have some fresh air.”
“This is what Huntington Beach is all about,” added another beach-goer. “If everyone just practices social distancing, there’s no reason that the beach can’t be open.”