Mayor, police and lifeguard chiefs stress Importance of Public Health Rules ahead of limited beach re-openings on Monday. Photo via OnScene.TV

At a news conference on Mission Beach, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer joined joined his police and lifeguard chiefs to explain the partial opening of city beaches at sunrise on Monday.

Phase 1 of the beach re-opening plan, announced Friday, allows swimming, surfing, kayaking, paddleboarding and fishing, but maintains restrictions such as closed parking lots, no group gatherings, and no sitting or lying down to soak up the sun. Piers and boardwalks will remain closed, as will Fiesta Island.

“In Phase 1, we get to run, we get to swim, we get to walk on the beach and you get to fish,” said Lifegard Chief James Gartland. “You come to the beach, you get your exercise, then you go back and follow the stay-at-home order.”

Gartland said there is no recreational boating allowed at this time, but it would be part of the Phase 2 plan.

Faulconer praised San Diego residents for following the rules at city parks earlier this week, which has led to Monday’s planned re-opening of beaches.

“San Diegans have done a very good job this past week, with our neighborhood parks, adhering to all the social distancing,” Faulconer said. “It’s going to be incredibly important for Phase 1 that that spirit, cooperation and adherence transfers over to Phase 1 of the beach openings.”

Police Chief David Nisleit asked that beachgoers on Monday follow the social distancing rules.

“What I need is cooperation,” Nisleit said. “So you will see law enforcement, you’ll see our beach team out here to enforce physical distancing, face coverings.

“The more we do this, the more we can go on to Phase 2,” Nisleit said. “No sitting on the beach and no loitering on the beach. For those that want to refuse, they will be cited. We don’t want to do that, but we need people to adhere to the rules. It allows us to get to Phase 2 and beyond. The better cooperation, the sooner we do that.”

As for the planned weekend protests, Nisleit said he supports the right to protest, but noted that some beach restrictions will be lifted on Monday, and urged Sunday’s protesters to stay at home and wait one day.

Officials in the beach cities of Del Mar and Solana Beach say they will not reopen beaches on Monday.

— From Staff and Wire Reports

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