Bay Area Residents Reminded to Stay Home, Practice Social Distancing

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Last weekend with beaches and parks packed, it was clear thousands were not getting the message to stay at home amid the coronavirus pandemic. Now, cities and the state have made some changes and added some warnings to avoid another weekend of overcrowding.

In San Francisco, the parking lot at the Marina Green is closed and so are a number of others. At Ocean Beach and near the Beach Chalet, signs and barriers are up reminding people to stay away. 

“If you are trying to go to Baker Beach or Ocean Beach or Crissy Field, the parking will not be available," Mayor London Breed said. "And we will be monitoring the neighborhood to make sure that there isn’t an influx of vehicles."

Breed is encouraging people to get outside for exercise but to do it close to home and in a way that maintains the 6-foot standard for social distancing. 

“Other places have chosen to just close parks and other places down,” Breed said. “We don’t want to get to that place, but if we see more people playing in basketball courts, if we see more people playing volleyball."

If people continue to gather in groups, Breed said the city may have no choice but to shut down parks.

San Francisco police Chief Bill Scott added a plea for everyone to use common sense.

“We will be out this weekend in some of the places where we've had issues with gatherings,” he said.

The National Park Service also announced parking lot closures. Near Stinson Beach, someone posted signs demanding that people stay home after the town was inundated last weekend. San Mateo County District Attorney Stephen Wagstaffe said if they can’t persuade people to comply with the stay-at-home order and social distancing guidelines, they may prosecute them.

"If, though, the group says or part of the group says, 'No, this is a beach. It's public area. I'm not going home, no,' well, then, we have to go to enforcement of the law and they could get cited and end up charged in court with a misdemeanor," he said.

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