SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- New parking restrictions are set to take effect in Pismo Beach and Morro Bay.
San Luis Obispo County Administrative Officer and Emergency Services Director Wade Horton announced the rules at the county's daily COVID-19 press conference on Thursday.
Both coastal cities will close beach parking lots and implement parking restrictions.
Pismo Beach has already limited parking in the city to one hour. The city also closed the pier on Wednesday.
The Morro Bay and county restrictions will start tomorrow night.
In addition, county parks will be closing all campgrounds to new reservations.
These moves are being done to discourage out-of-county visitors, especially large groups from other areas, from traveling to the Central Coast.
"Look at the weather forecast, sunny days are coming," said Horton. "Nice weather and our beautiful open space is one of the many blessings living on the Central Coast, and normally we appreciate the opportunity to share those blessings by welcoming visitors to enjoy what the Central Coast has to offer. However now is not the time," said Horton.
Horton emphasized beaches or regional parks will not be closed.
"We want people to have the ability to get outside," said Horton. "Again, the intent behind this is to discourage large groups of visitors to come to our county at this time."
He also affirmed state parks in the county do remain open.
"Pismo State Beach and Oceano Dunes Vehicle Recreation Area are still open," said Horton. "People are still able to drive onto the beach from both park entrances, Pier Avenue and at Grand Avenue."
He added Port San Luis also remains open, but Avila Pier is closed and the fire pits in the Avila Beach area are restricted.
Horton also disclosed El Chorro Regional Park Campground near Cuesta College will close.
He said that park will be used as a site to house homeless individuals that are showing symptoms of COVID-19, or have been diagnosed, but do not need hospitalization.
The closure will also take place at Dairy Creek Golf Course, which is adjacent to the park.
"We want to isolate that area," said Horton. "If we kept the golf course open, there's a likelihood that the golf course parking would be used for access to El Chorro."