West Coast
Signs remind visitors near the Newport Pier to keep their distance to help prevent spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. The Newport Pier and the Balboa Pier two miles down the shore were closed Wednesday in an effort to keep people from coming in close contact with one another.(Hillary Davis)

CA - ‘No time for tourism’: Newport weighs how to keep visitors away during coronavirus restrictions

Some members of the Newport Beach City Council want to harden the city’s coronavirus-related closures, including sealing off the boardwalks and nonresident access to Balboa Island — at least for the coming weekend.

City staff was noncommittal during a council meeting Tuesday night but did say that last weekend’s surge of beach visitors — eager for some relief from a cooped-up and stressful week — was “troubling.”

Councilwoman Diane Dixon asked how officials could get residents and visitors to stay home in light of a March 19 order by Gov. Gavin Newsom calling for Californians to go out only for essential needs. The sweeping directive capped days of similar locally and federally driven shutdowns aimed to slow the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

“It’s a gubernatorial order and people are still on our beaches and on our boardwalks, in our parking lots and in our neighborhood streets looking for places to park,” Dixon said.

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