What to Know
- The Strand and beach at Hermosa Beach will be closed to the public starting Saturday morning at 6 a.m.
- Hermosa Beach owns its beach, unlike other South Bay cities, and can decide on its own whether to close it.
- The city manager said people were gathering without honoring the 6-foot distance from non-family members.
The beach in Hermosa Beach and beachfront walkway, the Strand, will be closed at 6 a.m. Saturday in an attempt to stop gatherings that could increase the spread of the coronavirus, city manager Suja Lowenthal said Wednesday.
"We understand the desire to be outside and in nature is more powerful than ever and being out in nature is permitted if people avoid crowds and maintain 6 feet of distance from non-household members,'' Lowenthal said.
"While most people are staying home to slow the spread of COVID-19, the actions of a few who choose not to follow the rules can cost the lives of many. The sooner we close the beach and Strand, the better our chance to slow the spread of COVID-19.''
Hermosa Beach's Downtown Parking Structure will also be closed to the public to discourage people traveling to the beach and the Strand, Lowenthal said.
The closures will remain in effect until city officials have determined it is safe to re-open the beach, Strand and parking structure, Lowenthal said.
The decision to close the beach and the Strand came in response to groups of people gathering on the beach and Strand last weekend increasing the risk of spreading the coronavirus because people were unable to maintain the required 6-foot distance from non-family members, Lowenthal said.
LA County Lifeguards estimate 22,000 people showed up at the beach Saturday and another 12,000 on Sunday.
"There was no social distancing of six feet. It was impossible due to the size of the crowds," interim Hermosa Beach Police Department Chief Michael McCrary said.
City staff will erect signs and barriers at access points to the beach and Strand over the next two days, and the Hermosa Beach Police Department will patrol the beach to enforce the closures, McCrary said.
Police expect most people will comply with the beach closure order, but if they don't, violators will receive a misdemeanor citation.
"We are hoping for voluntary compliance, and police officers will initially be informing the public about the closures,'' McCrary said. "But police officers will start writing citations and imposing fines, if needed, to keep the public safe.
The fine is $500.
Hermosa Beach owns its beach, unlike other South Bay cities, and can decide on its own whether to close it, Lowenthal said.