West Coast
All stairways up and down connecting the street and beaches will reopen Saturday. (John Gibbins/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

CA - Encinitas will allow staircase access, open more beach space starting Saturday

Encinitas will expand the open areas of its beaches and allow people to use coastal access staircases starting Saturday, May 9, the City Council unanimously decided Wednesday, May 6.

One day earlier, on Friday morning, May 8, the city also will lift some restrictions on “active” recreation areas at city parks, permitting families to play basketball or tennis, but keeping the playgrounds, skatepark areas and pickleball courts closed due to concerns about spreading the coronavirus.

In order to move to the “Phase Two"stage of opening the beaches, the city’s lifeguard program will shift into summer staffing levels five weeks early, at an additional expense of $45,000. The extra staffing is needed because of the sheer number of pedestrians, runners, surfers and swimmers who’ve been coming to Moonlight Beach since it reopened to active recreation in late April, Encinitas Lifeguard Capt. Larry Giles told the council.

“I just wanted to stress to you that we are seeing record numbers down on our beaches,” he said, mentioning that because of the lack of other entertainment options and the school closures tens of thousands of people have been coming to the beach to exercise.

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