With temperatures warming up across the state, California State Parks is reminding all Californians to ‘Stay Home, Save Lives’ as California continues to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
“With the warm weather, it’s only natural people want to make use of parks and beaches, but we are encouraging them to stay home. We want to make sure people know that many of our parks and beaches are closed or have very limited access to make sure we’re all abiding and practicing physical distancing,” said Lisa Mangat, Director of California State Parks. “As the Governor said, our goal is to make sure people are safe, and that we’re mitigating the spread of COVID-19 as much as possible.”
Below is a breakdown of the current closures implemented by State Parks and what they mean to the public.
- Some State Parks and Beaches Temporarily Closed to the Public — Meaning there is no public access at these public outdoor spaces. All beaches, trail and restrooms within these parks are closed. Additionally, there are no parking facilities for visitors, including for off-highway vehicles and recreational boats.
- Vehicular Access at ALL 280 State Parks and Beaches is Temporarily Closed – Meaning there are no parking facilities and parking on roadways is prohibited. Although some parks and beaches are open to local residents – provided that they actively walk, jog, or bike into and at these public outdoor spaces, and maintain proper physical distance from others – congregating is not allowed. Additionally, if there are too many people at the park, beach or trail that does not allow for the required physical distancing, visitors are being asked to leave.
The list with park unit names is available online at parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve. This list is dynamic and is updated with new information as it becomes available. The public is urged to check with their local and county authorities on their park closures.
Though State Park Peace Officers and allied law enforcement entities have the authority to issue citations, the expectation is that the public will adhere to the advice of the public health officials and the closures.
State Parks will continue to monitor visitation and social distancing at all state park units and if the safety measures implemented to date are not sufficient to protect public health and slow down the spread of COVID-19, additional measures may be taken to fully close parks including trails, bathrooms, and other amenities.
As the state continues to prepare and protect Californians from COVID-19, State Parks continues to monitor the situation and is following guidance provided by the Governor’s Office via the California Department of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.
The department is also working closely with local county and public health officials, and assessing park operations on a daily basis to provide access to healthy outdoor options while emphasizing the need for safe, physical distancing. The department understands that local agencies each have unique operational considerations and strategies. As such, State Parks is partnering with locals to align park operations and help the public understand and comply with directives from local public health authorities.
Any decision to reopen state parks will be made in close coordination with state and public health officials, the Governor’s Office and the state office of emergency services.