An estimated 1,500 people, most not wearing face masks, protested Saturday near the still-closed Huntington Beach Pier despite an easing of restrictions that allowed some beach activities.
Crowds gathered on both sides of Pacific Coast Highway at Main Street between noon and 2 p.m., crossing with traffic lights to get into position, said Huntington Beach police Officer Angela Bennett. They dispersed without incident and there were no arrests, she added.
KABC7 video showed most protesters marching without protective face masks and standing closer than the required six feet of social distance. Signs carried included, “Recall Newsome,” “Healthy Go Out, Sick Stay In, “New Normal Isn’t Normal” and “I Am Essential.” Police officers on foot and horseback kept watch over the protest.
Huntington Beach reopened this weekend for active recreation with daily hours of 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., longer than some other Orange County beaches, and visitors were ordered to “keep it moving” at all times, according to a city press release. Walking, running, hiking, bicycle riding, swimming, surfing, paddle boarding, fishing and other ocean activities were permitted where normally allowed.
Individuals and groups were ordered to maintain social distancing and not settle in one place on the sand, grass, pier or playground.
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