Much like the Fourth of July weekend, county health officials are hoping that foot traffic at local beaches will be at a premium for Labor Day weekend.
The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department issued a health officer order Wednesday announcing beach restrictions for all county beaches from Sept. 4 to Sept. 7.
The official health order, authored by county health officer Dr. Henning Ansorg, states that the closures will be in effect from 12:01 a.m. Sept. 4 to 11:59 p.m. Sept. 7. Activities such as sitting, lying, standing, sunbathing, sight-seeing, picnicking, and all other non-exercise, passive, or sedentary activities on beach parkways will all be prohibited during the busy holiday weekend.
In addition, items used for sitting or lying on the beach are prohibited for use on beaches, such as umbrellas, shade structures, tents, barbeque grills, sand or beach toys, coolers and beach chairs.
“Disease transmission rates have been consistently improving in the last few weeks, yet this metric still remains above the threshold outlined by the California Department of Public Health for being removed from the County Monitoring List,” health officials said in a news release.
Despite transmission rates improving, only immediate access to and from the ocean for water sports or beach access for physical activity will be permitted.
“Reduced disease transmission is critical in the fight against COVID-19,” Dr. Ansorg said in a statement. “We anticipate a high volume of visitors at our beaches during the Labor Day weekend, which will impede the practice of safe and necessary social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Santa Barbara County.
“Our community has remained diligent in its efforts and now is the time to protect all the positive outcomes we have accomplished.”
In compliance with the new order from the county Public Health Department, UCSB announced it will be closing its campus beaches and adjacent areas from Sept. 4 through Sept. 7.
For more information about the upcoming beach restrictions or the local COVID-19 response, visit www.publichealthsbc.org.