Lifeguards circle the beach to keep people off the beach since the city closed parks and beaches.
Lifeguards circle a city beach to keep people off it. Photo by Chris Stone

City Councilwoman Barbara Bry on Friday called for San Diego’s beaches and parks to be reopened as soon as the first week of May.

“As always, such decisions must be based on science and the advice of public health experts, but I believe it will be possible to develop prudent plans to reopen our beaches and parks by early next month,” she said.

The city closed parks, beaches and trails on March 23 because of weekend crowds that were not practicing distancing.

Bry, who is running for Mayor, said residents have since “done a tremendous job of adapting quickly” to public health guidelines, including working from home, practicing social distancing and wearing face coverings.

“Because we have been proactive, it appears we have slowed the spread of COVID-19,” she said. “Now it is time for the city to work with our scientific community and county health officials to develop a plan to reopen parks and beaches as soon as the first week of May.”

Bry said such a plan should include social-distancing and face-covering requirements.

Asked whether it would be possible to reopen parks and beaches in early May, county Public Health Officer Dr. Wilma Wooten said, “I don’t know. We have to look at where we are at the end of this month.”

Bry represents District 1, where the neighborhoods of La Jolla and Torrey Pines include many of the city’s most frequented beaches and parks.

“Our parks and beaches play an important role in San Diego life, particularly for our residents who live in dense neighborhoods,” she said. “These public areas are irreplaceable and are an important component of our physical and mental health.”

Updated at 3:15 p.m., Friday, April 17, 2020

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.