The city of Santa Monica issued an executive order Sunday night to temporarily close the Santa Monica Pier to the public as part of the city’s local emergency proclamation.
The pier, its businesses and its parking deck closed to people and cars at 6 a.m. Monday, said city spokesperson Constance Farrell. The closure follows new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calling for events and gatherings, whether planned or spontaneous, that include 50 or more people to be canceled to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The city declared a local emergency Friday night. By Sunday, the number of confirmed coronaviruses cases in Los Angeles County reached 69.
“We welcome thousands of guests to our pier each and every day, so we take this step out of the deepest desire to keep people at home and healthy,” said City Manager Rick Cole. “We love our pier and the joy it brings to everyone that visits, but in this moment, we must take aggressive actions to slow the spread of COVID-19.”
Jim Harris, deputy director of the Santa Monica Pier Corporation, said the pier has only closed for an extended period during the 1992 riots after the Rodney King decision. The closure lasted three days.
Harris said the pier closed for part of the day during a bomb scare in September 2017 and for a full day after the 1994 Northridge earthquake.
Farrell said the city is closely monitoring CDC, state and county guidance to determine when and how the pier can be reopened to the public.
“We are in full support of this temporary closure to the public amid this health crisis. Though this will heavily impact the pier businesses, in this historic moment it is the right thing to do,” said Negin Singh, executive director of the Santa Monica Pier Corporation. “We know that once we overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, our pier will play an important role in serving the public with our great food, attractions, performers and free, world-class events. We all look forward to welcoming you back.”
The order follows a Sunday directive from Gov. Gavin Newsom to close bars and cut restaurant capacity by half. Newsom also ordered people older than 65 or with chronic health conditions to self-isolate at home.
On Saturday, Santa Monica put a temporary moratorium on evictions, utilities shutoffs and late fines for parking tickets for workers financially impacted by coronavirus. All public buildings and schools are closed this week.
On Sunday night, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti ordered all restaurants to offer takeout and delivery only and directed bars, gyms and movie theaters to close. The city of Santa Monica has not ordered restaurants to shut their doors but has directed all businesses and residents to practice social distancing.