San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer told CNBC on Friday he believes people are following the city’s new rules for beaches, calling it a positive sign as California seeks to ease up on coronavirus-related restrictions.
“I was out there on the beaches myself last week with our lifeguards. You can walk, you can run, surf and swim right now. No sitting down. To see that compliance I think bodes extremely well for when we start to reopen our businesses,” Faulconer said on “Squawk Alley.”
San Diego beaches were reopened last week with restrictions, following weeks after closures in order to slow the spread of Covid-19. According to a report in the San Diego Union-Tribune on Saturday, most beachgoers were obliging with the restrictions on sitting or standing around.
California has in recent days moved to relax restrictions on some businesses. As of Friday, retailers that sell items such as toys, clothing, books and sporting goods can begin offering curbside service. Certain manufacturers can also begin production.
Gov. Gavin Newsom’s four-phase plan to reopen the state also includes a roadmap for counties, giving local officials specific criteria to meet in order to ease additional restrictions on dine-in restaurants and shopping malls, for example. The criteria includes demonstrating the spread of Covid-19 has stabilized as well as other requirements on testing and contact tracing capabilities, according to The Los Angeles Times.
A lone person walks along an empty beach as a lifeguard keeps watch during the global outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in San Diego, California.
Mike Blake | Reuters
Newsom, who last week ordered a temporary closure of state and local beaches in Orange County after large crowds gathered, has praised people in San Diego for following beach restrictions.
Faulconer said other cities in the state are using San Diego’s rules for opening beaches. He added he believes people in San Diego are adhering to the beach restrictions because they want to see additional restrictions lifted in a safe manner.
“San Diegans, just like others in California, do not want to give back the tremendous gains that we’ve made, the sacrifices that we’ve made over these last six weeks,” Faulconer said. “I think that’s why it’s incredibly important for mayors like myself to have these clear policies, to communicate them, and then give benchmarks that says, ‘here’s how we’re hitting them,’ so we can go to other phases.”
There are more than 1.2 million confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins University data. California has about 62,547 cases overall; San Diego County has 4,429 confirmed cases, per JHU data.