Beach restrictions reimplemented

Santa Cruz County’s latest shelter in place order, issued April 30 and effective May 1, eases restrictions on movement by expanding the list of essential businesses. 

Santa Cruz Health Officer Dr. Gail Newel deemed landscaping, construction, plant nurseries, childcare and golf courses essential. These businesses must still adhere to social distancing guidelines and hygienic practices similar to protocol already in place at current essential businesses like grocery stores and gas stations.

“We have made great progress flattening the curve and protecting vulnerable residents and critical health care infrastructure, but we still have a long road ahead,” Newel said in a press release. “These are the first steps on a long journey, which will be guided by science and the leadership of State public health officials.”

This latest shelter in place order extends and revises the previous one issued on March 31. While that order was scheduled to end May 3, the new directive is indefinite and will “continue to be in effect until it is extended, rescinded, superseded, or amended in writing by the Health Officer.”

On April 15, Santa Cruz beaches reopened after a weeklong closure issued by Newel, but due to an influx of crowds, the Santa Cruz Health Services Agency announced new restrictions that will go into effect this weekend.

To discourage the recreational use of beaches by visitors to Santa Cruz, beaches will be closed to all activities from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day. Water-based activities are not subject to these restrictions, but individuals found lying, sitting or participating in any non-exercise related activity on the beach at any time of day will be disciplined.