Photo: Mike Moffitt/SFGATE
With a heat wave forecast to push Bay Area inland temperatures into the 100s over the three-day Labor Day weekend, many will be heading to the beach.
But before you jump in the car, be sure to check whether your destination is open.
Several counties and cities in the greater region are closing beaches this weekend to prevent crowds from spreading the coronavirus. The move has been scrutinized by some who say closed beaches will force people to hold gatherings inside.
“The beaches are not the problem,” Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, an epidemiologist with the University of California, San Francisco, told the San Jose Mercury News. “The problem is really enclosed activities, with people who you’ve not had a lot of contact with, doing things where you have to take your masks off.”
RELATED: How safe is a crowded beach during a pandemic? Photo sparks controversy in Pacifica
California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly commented on this issue at a Tuesday press briefing and said he can’t speak to the local conditions that determine an individual county’s decision to close beaches, but he emphasized the need to keep activities outside.
“If the decision is to bring the gathering indoors, we know that increases the risk for transmission,” he said.
Here’s a rundown of where beaches will be open and closed.
Marin County Open
Monterey County Beaches around Monterey Bay are closing Friday, Sept. 4 through Monday, Sept. 7. This includes all beaches from Big Sur to Santa Cruz operated by California State Parks, and beaches in Big Sur, Carmel, Pebble Beach, Pacific Grove, Monterey, Seaside and Marina. (See below for more on Santa Cruz beaches.)
Pacifica Beaches and parking lots are closed sunrise Saturday, Sept. 5 to sunrise Tuesday, Sept. 8. The Coastal Trail, Mori Point hiking trails, Beach Boulevard Promenade, and Pacifica Pier will remain open. More details.
San Francisco Open
San Mateo County Open, except for Pacifica
Santa Cruz County Beaches closed 5 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 5, to 5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 7 — except for an open period from 4-8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. During closures, you’re allowed to walk across the sand to participate in water activities, but sunbathing and beach walks are not permitted. More details.
Amy Graff is the news editor for SFGATE. Email her: [email protected]