The city of Santa Monica closed parking lots along Santa Monica State Beach Sunday afternoon after large numbers of beachgoers visited the coastline over the weekend despite statewide orders to stay at home, officials said.

City spokesperson Constance Farrell said the city closed the beach parking lots in accordance with state and local health directives that prohibit gatherings and call for social distancing. All residents and visitors are advised to indefinitely avoid the beach, beach bike path and Palisades Park.

“Today is not the day to go to the beach. We know that it’s difficult to stay at home when the weather is so nice … yet this is a time when we must take the guidelines from our health officials to heart,” said City Manager Rick Cole. “We urge our residents to avoid any public spaces where social distancing is a challenge.” 

Farrell said residents of Santa Monica who live in the area of the beach and who hold residential parking permits for the relevant lots will be permitted to park, as will essential personnel consistent with state and county stay at home orders. 

Cole said the city on Sunday taped off its side of the Santa Monica Stairs, a popular workout spot in the North of Montana neighborhood that starts in Santa Monica and ends in Los Angeles.

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