VENTURA, Calif. – Law enforcement throughout coastal cities in the County of Ventura reported positive compliance to the “keep moving” guidelines this weekend. All beaches north of Point Mugu to the Santa Barbara County line are open with some restrictions. Beach activities that are permitted include running, walking, swimming, and surfing. Gathering on the beach in groups with items such as blankets, chairs, and coolers is not permitted. Parking and bathrooms are closed.
“Our beaches and open spaces are wonderful places to enjoy. We appreciate that our community members are following the guidance of our Public Health Department so that we can continue on the path to reopening,” said Mike Powers, County of Ventura Executive Officer.
In order to continue the success of Ventura County flattening the COVID-19 curve, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, working in collaboration with the California Highway Patrol, Caltrans, California State Parks, and Ventura County Parks Department, updated parking standards along northern and southern stretches of the Pacific Coast Highway in Ventura County.
“I am pleased to report that Ventura County residents and visitors have done an excellent job of following social distancing guidelines and the restrictions that are in place at our local beaches,” said Sheriff Bill Ayub.
Police Chiefs throughout the region and Park Rangers reported that there were no crowds on this first Saturday of May. Images throughout the coastal area showed beach visitors staying active during the warm day. The Pacific Coast Highway from Point Mugu State Beach south to the Los Angeles County line is closed for all parking. Additionally, the Pacific Coast Highway from Emma Wood State Beach north to the Santa Barbara County line is closed for all parking.
Caltrans posted “No Parking” signs along both sides of Pacific Coast Highway and coned off the area. Law enforcement agencies continue to patrol the area to ensure compliance with the new parking restrictions.
“The soft closures of the Ventura County Parks along the old Pacific Coast Highway between Emma Wood State Beach and Seacliff, and several inland parks has gone very well. Today, community members continued to follow the guidelines. People have been willing to comply when asked by staff to keep moving. Most beach access in these areas is from pedestrian and bicycle traffic. Trails have also remained open and there have been no issues with their use,” said Theresa Lubin, acting Director, Ventura County Parks.
“Ventura County residents should be proud of their efforts during this time and we want to make sure we continue to flatten the curve,” said Mark Sandoval, Harbor Department Director. “Practicing social distancing guidelines, particularly at the beach, is important. Not following these guidelines may result in beaches being shut down for the foreseeable future. The reopening of the public launch ramp last week and the soft closure of the beaches in the Channel Islands Harbor successfully afforded the opportunity for the public to enjoy the outdoors while adhering to the public health guidance.”
“It’s understandable that our community members want to enjoy our beaches and parks and return to normal life as quickly as possible,” said Public Health Officer Doctor Robert Levin. “The best path forward is a cautious one — a path that proceeds gradually, carefully, and incrementally. A path that relies on science and facts to determine each step forward. The data is looking good, thanks to the diligence of our community members in following the Stay Well At Home Order and guidance at the beaches and parks, but we must be cautious in how we move forward. We must continue to save lives and stop the spread of COVID-19. Community members must continue to practice social distancing.”
All agencies, working together, are committed to keeping the residents of Ventura County safe, and at this time, that includes restricting access to parking in certain areas and keeping people moving at the beach.