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Santa Barbara ‘considering’ closing city beaches for holiday weekend

SB Beaches could close for weekend
Ryan Fish/KEYT
Santa Barbara is discussing whether to close beaches ahead of this holiday weekend. The city says most people have complied with social distancing on the beaches.

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The city of Santa Barbara says most people going to city beaches are following social distancing. But the city is "considering" closing beaches for the upcoming holiday weekend, according to mayor Cathy Murillo on Wednesday.

Oxnard announced it plans to temporarily close its beaches and parks this upcoming Saturday and Sunday to prevent people from congregating in groups to celebrate Easter or Passover.

Murillo says Santa Barbara could adopt that same policy, but for now, beaches will remain open.

"We're considering what to do on the big weekends," she said. "As an elected official, I can tell you I fight to the death for public access to the beach. And it's gonna be the hardest thing in the world to tell people to come to the beach.

"The weekend is when there's more activity in the beaches and the parks. And we just continue the same message: stay home if you can, but if you go out, keep your social distance. And keep your mask on."

Murillo herself has seen most people following the rules and keeping their distance at the beach. She says that needs to continue to for the beaches to stay open.

Santa Barbara County Parks Superintendent Jeff Lindgren says County parks and beaches will remain open during the holiday weekend, and that staff members will be out making sure people continue to practice social distancing.

Other communities in the state, such as LA County, have indefinitely closed their beaches to the public.

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Ryan Fish

Ryan Fish is a reporter, sports anchor and forecaster for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Ryan, click here.

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