Los Angeles County in California has issued a decree ordering all beaches closed for the Fourth of July holiday weekend citing a spike in COVID-19 cases, but it is unclear who will be enforcing the dictate after the county’s sheriff declared it won’t be his department.
What are the details?
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced Monday in a news release that from Friday through July 6 at 5 a.m., all L.A. County beaches would be closed “to prevent dangerous crowding that results in the spread of deadly COVID-19” and “for that same reason, the department is prohibiting fireworks displays in the County” over the weekend.
The memo noted that the same day, the county had seen “more than 2,900 new cases of COVID-19, the largest one-day case count since the pandemic began.”
The order prohibits people from not only the beaches, but “piers, public beach parking lots, beach bike paths that traverse that sanded portion of the beach, and beach access points.”
According to Deadline, defying the order “is punishable by law to include, but not limited to, a $1,000 fine.”
But it is unclear who will be writing citations to any “trespassers.”
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva told KTTV-TV reporter Bill Melugin that his department will not be enforcing the county’s order.
The sheriff said in a statement, “We were not consulted on the beach closure, and will only assist our beach cities in closing parking lots and traffic enforcement on PCH. In regards to enforcing the beach closure, we will not be enforcing it because we are ‘Care First, Jail Last.'”