This weekend’s beautiful weather brought out people in droves to L.A. County’s newly reopened beaches, where only active use (swimming, surfing, etc.) is technically allowed. Still, people were spotted sunbathing and picnicking from Venice on up the coast, using much less caution than is mandated. But photos and reports that emerged from Malibu were cause for particular concern. The tony hamlet’s coastal areas appear to have been packed with people lying on the sand and gathering in groups—and nary a mask can be seen on anyone.
Pics of Sunday beach scene in Malibu from Broad Beach resident Rodger Grossman. pic.twitter.com/pMiSBojFtC
— eric spillman (@ericspillman) May 18, 2020
According to Deadline, local radio host Hanz Laetz estimated that “70 to 90 percent” of people on Zuma Beach weren’t wearing masks as they hung out on the sand. He also said beach gates were pried open, that there were many parking nightmares, and even reported loud parties taking place on Malibu beaches at night.
“The common courtesy of wearing masks on the sand was widely ignored at Zuma Beach,” Laetz posted on Facebook. He also reported Broad Beach being more crowded than it’s been on July 4 in years past.
Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer was asked about the situation in Malibu during her Monday press conference. She replied, “We got reports. We’re working very closely with Beaches and Harbor to make sure this doesn’t continue to happen. If people are willing to blatantly disregard their obligation to make it safe for others, it’s impossible to continue to move down a path towards recovery, because this is what is going to overwhelm our healthcare system. You don’t know when you’re in a public space who the people are who are around you, you may have underlying health conditions.” She ended by warning of a potential spike in cases.
Current regulations mandate masks at the beach when people are not physically in the water. L.A. County has even launched a helpful hashtag: #BYOM or Bring Your Own Mask.