By Len Ramirez

HALF MOON BAY (KPIX 5) — A battle is brewing on the San Mateo County coast over whether cities should close their beaches indefinitely because of the pandemic.

This month, the beaches were closed for the 4th of July, but they’re open again, and that doesn’t make any sense to Half Moon Bay resident Brent Turner, who’s calling for a shutdown of city beaches in San Mateo County as soon as this weekend.

“If we have to stop the party this weekend so be it, so that we avoid a super-spread situation,” Turner said. “If it goes on longer than that, so be it.”

Turner supported the closure of beaches for 4th of July, but worries that busy beaches and nearly full parking lots will only help spread the disease.

“If we keep playing this game of opening and closing, it brutalizes the business community and it’s not good for the general psychology.
We need to just get this behind us,” he said.

But Half Moon Bay Mayor Adam Eisen says it’s the governor’s office that should make that call.

“If fewer people come, there’s going to be less spread of the disease,” said Eisen. “On the flipside, if people come and are wearing masks, we want people to experience the beauty of the outside and to be out here.”

But not everyone is wearing masks or socially distancing.

“I don’t think they’re necessary, you’re outside and you have a breeze coming. I think it’s ridiculous,” said visitor Angie Grimming who was visiting the coast with a friend from Oklahoma. “This whole COVID thing is blown way out of proportion.”

Mayor Eisen says it would be different if the state Department of Parks and Recreation closes the parking lots because that would trigger a dangerous spillover into the neighborhoods.

“If the parking lots are closed, we must close the beaches as well,” Eisen said.

So far, there’s no indication if that will happen.

Now, many beach town neighbors say they’ll be the ones forced to shelter indoors this weekend.