LA County

LA-Area Parks, Golf Courses Reopen as Health Restrictions Loosened

NBC Universal, Inc.

Parks and hiking trails in Los Angeles reopened Saturday as Safer At Home restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic are slowly loosened, but the popular Runyon Canyon trail and all beaches remain closed.

County Supervisor Kathryn Barger said staff were deployed to ensure people are adhering to social-distancing requirements, and all hikers over age 2 will be required to wear face coverings.

"They're (the sheriff's Parks Bureau) not doing anything out of the ordinary," Deputy James Nagao of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Information Bureau told City News Service on Saturday. "The Parks Bureau is consistently patrolling Los Angeles County parks in an effort to make sure people are enjoying the park experience."

County parks officials urged residents not to visit trails if they are sick or exhibiting any sign of illness. People who do hike on the trails should do so only with members of their household, and hikers should bring water, hand-sanitizer and/or disinfecting wipes, park officials said.

"There is no new enforcement initiative, specifically,'' Officer Mike Chan of the Los Angeles Police Department's Media Relations Section told CNS. "Any sort of enforcement will be the last result. There is no new rule of engagement, as these parks are being phased into operation, concretely."

City and county golf courses also reopened, but pro shops remain closed and golf course restaurants are restricted to carry-out service only.

The county announced a series of restrictions for golfers:
   -- No more than four players per tee time.
   -- Tee times will be at least 10 minutes apart.
   -- Tournaments or group play will not be allowed.
   -- Physical distancing of six feet will be required.
   -- Golf courses will accept payment online only by debit, credit or gift card.
   -- Push carts and walking are recommended because golf carts will be limited to single riders.
   -- Rental golf clubs and push carts will not be available.
   -- Drinking fountains will be closed.

Also, according to a county statement, golfers may not touch, remove or adjust the flag stick, green cups may not be touched, and rakes, ball washers, benches and sand bottles will be removed. Driving ranges will be open, but practice putting greens and chipping practice areas remain closed.

County parks were originally expected to be closed for Mother's Day on Sunday, but they will now remain open, although large gatherings will be prohibited and social-distancing mandates will be in effect.

The parks will be open for "passive use, such as walking, jogging and leisure time outdoors for individuals or families."

"Since the holiday is one of the busiest days of the year, LA County Parks reminds all park guests that social distancing is required and group gatherings are prohibited by the health order," according to the department.

The county's four botanical gardens -- the county Arboretum and Botanic Garden, the South Coast Botanic Garden, Descanso Gardens and Virginia Robinson Gardens -- will all be closed on Sunday.

All beaches in the county remain off-limits, although planning is continuing for a possible reopening by late next week. Long Beach will reopen its beach walking/bike paths on Monday, although the beaches themselves will remain closed.

All parks in Beverly Hills will be closed from 6 p.m. Saturday to 6 a.m. Monday as part of what a city official called "its proactive approach to protecting the community from the spread of COVID-19."

"We hope everyone will stay at home and celebrate Mother's Day virtually as we continue to put the health of our community first," Mayor Les Friedman said.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
Contact Us