The city of Encinitas announced Sunday evening that Moonlight Beach will reopen Monday for walking, running and all water activities except boating, a city spokesman said.
The reopening, which was decided upon at a Sunday afternoon meeting of the Encinitas City Council, was scheduled to begin Monday at 8 a.m., said Encinitas public spokesman Patrick Platt.
San Diego County’s ongoing health order still prohibits public gatherings and beachgoers must continue to practice social distancing. Beachgoers were also asked to wearing face coverings. If those orders are violated, the beach may be re-closed.
Boundaries of the beach will be dictated by the tides and, for the public’s safety, they will be marked with black-and-white checkered flags at the north and south ends, Platt said.
The meeting in the Council Chambers, at 505 South Vulcan Ave., was scheduled in response to the San Diego County Health Department’s surprise announcement Friday that ocean activities would be allowed again starting Monday.
“The cities did not get any warning regarding the announcement,” officials said. “The initial strategy was to have a collaborative approach across the region. The county’s unilateral action caught most cities off guard and the collaborative, uniform beach opening across the region will not be happening on Monday, April 27.”
In Phase 1 of the draft proposal, all water activity, including swimming, surfing, paddling and kayaking would be allowed. Walking or running on the beach would also be allowed.
“No gatherings of any kind on the beaches,” the draft states. “No stopping, standing, sitting or lying down and no chairs, blankets, coolers or anything stationary. No games or sports on the beach.”
All beach parking lots will be closed and parking on Coast Highway will be prohibited, the draft said.
“Law enforcement will closely monitor adherence to the County of San Diego Public Health order prohibiting gatherings.”
In Phase 2, an intermediate phase with no date to begin scheduled, the entire beach would be opened to all activity without restrictions.
On Saturday, three people were arrested and cited at Moonlight Beach for violating the stay-at-home order and congregating on a closed beach, according to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.
The arrests happened during a protest rally against beach closures and the stay-at-home order.