Starting Friday, Newport Beach will close the Wedge during the day to shoo away surfers and their fans, who have gravitated to the popular surfing destination this week as the beach enjoyed a robust swell.

Newport Beach firefighters made the recommendation after seeing large crowds of surfers and spectators at the Wedge this week in violation of the Gov. Gavin Newsom’s stay-at-home order to attempt to stem the tide of coronavirus during the global pandemic.

The Wedge will be shut down between 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and city officials have established temporary fencing from West Harbor Jetty to M Street.

The Wedge is usually closed those hours from May 1 through Oct. 31, but the closure was moved up this year.

City officials say beach traffic is down significantly — by as much as 95% or more — since Newsom’s order and the city closed the beach parking lots.

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