PACIFICA (KPIX) — Pacifica’s mayor is urging people to stay away from the city’s beaches this weekend as temperatures rise around the Bay Area.
“The beaches are jam-packed, they’re jam-packed during the week,” said Mayor Deirdre Martin. “I’m seeing volleyball games, I’m seeing drinking games going on, I’m seeing football games and it’s just highly suspect that those folks are not from the same family.”
KPIX captured video of throngs crowding Pacifica beaches, including at Linda Mar Beach. Some were not wearing masks or social distancing. Bay Area residents said that type of activity is not only happening in Pacifica.
“It’s been packed and we’re suffering, I think, what Lake Tahoe is feeling,” said Half Moon Bay resident Brent Turner.
Turner is part of a group of residents who have reached out to city, county and state leaders to try to shut down beaches on the weekends but they’ve had no luck.
“I just think it’s the worst breach of public duty,” Turner said. “When a pandemic happens and you’re on duty I think you put the health and safety of the citizens first.”
Santa Cruz mayor Justin Cummings said he’s looked into closing beaches around his city but said enforcement would be difficult without a region-wide approach.
Even with beaches closed throughout the pandemic, some said that didn’t keep them away.
“We come here all the time,” said Jimmy Alfaro, who was at a beach in Pacifica with his son.
Alfaro said when the beach was closed he and his family would park far away and then walk to get to the water.
“It’s my job to protect the health and welfare of our community,” Martin said.
Despite the crowds, Martin said police are continuing to take an educational rather than an enforcement approach.
KPIX asked the mayor if she would consider cracking down if people continued to break health order violations.
“I can’t say for sure, I really can’t say for sure,” Martin said.