San Diego Mayor Announces Closure Of All Parks, Beaches & Hiking Trails

March 23, 2020

After yesterday's announcement of a citywide order forbidding all social gatherings, San Diego's mayor has announced the closure of all beaches, parks, boardwalks, bays, city lakes, and hiking trails to the public.

"I have directed the City of San Diego to move forward with closing all City-owned parks, beaches and trails," announced San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer on his Twitter page. "There were far too many ignoring physical distancing rules this weekend. The actions of a few can cost the lives of many. Please stay at home, San Diego."

In addition to announcing the closure of beaches, parks, boardwalks, bays, city lakes, and hiking trails to the public, the city today stated that all City Board and Commission meetings are suspended through the end of March. The news of the additional measures to slow the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic comes after details broke earlier this morning that San Diego had its first resident fatality from the illness. Also today, information came out that preparations are underway to open larger areas of Golden Hall and parts of the San Diego Convention Center for homeless individuals, aiming to create more space to serve people experiencing homelessness and allow for adequate physical distancing within current shelter facilities. This coming Wednesday, the San Diego city council is scheduled to vote on relief efforts, including eviction relief for residential and commercial tenants, as well economic relief for small businesses.

"I want to be clear, we are still encouraging people to go outdoors, but go outdoors close to home," continued Mayor Faulconer. "It's time to protect each other. Physical distancing is the key to beating this virus, and that's why we are acting today. It is simply irresponsible to congregate. And it's unfair to the rest of San Diegans that are staying at home. The impacts of the some that made the wrong decision over the weekend increased the risk to other San Diegans, as well as some of our public safety professionals."

On Sunday, March 22, following a weekend where it was observed that many were not abiding by social distancing and self-quarantine recommendations, the city announced that gatherings of any size (except for family units) were prohibited at beaches and parks, and parking lots at all city-run beaches and parks were closed. It was also stated that violators of the gathering ban could face misdemeanor charges and more than $1,000 in fines. There is little information available about how the citywide closure of public parks and beaches will be enforced, although the mayor indicated that the San Diego Police Department will be enforcing "as they see fit." At this point, it seems that any biking, running, and/or walking along the city's parks, boardwalks and beaches is permitted, as well as water activities on San Diego bays and surfing and swimming.

"These actions that we are taking are indeed unprecedented and will be life saving," concluded Faulconer.

Following Mayor Faulconer's announcement today of the closure of most public spaces, Coronado Mayor Richard Bailey announced that the beaches in the City of Coronado would remain open "so long as the public continues to follow proper social distancing practices." Bailey went on to detail changes being made at Coronado beaches, including the posting of signage encouraging people to stay at home and to not congregate, removing or placing off-limits for exercise equipment on the beach, closing the beach parking lots at Avenida Lunas and De Las Arenas at the Shores, and continuing to monitor the size and activities at the beach.

Although staying at home is obviously encouraged, residents are permitted to venture out for necessities like visiting grocery stores, food banks, restaurants that offer take-out, pharmacies, laundry services, banks and gas stations. Californians are required to stay at home with certain exceptions, including caregiving, getting necessary health care, purchasing groceries and working to support an essential industry. Essential industries that can continue operating, as outlined by the state, include essential state and local government functions, health care providers, food and grocery services including food banks, convenience stores, and take-out and delivery restaurants, pharmacies, financial institutions including banks, entities that provide food, shelter, social services and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged, laundromats and laundry services, and newspapers, television, radio, and other media services.

For more information on how the city is dealing with this pandemic, visit San Diego's coronavirus information site at

This is a developing story: We will update this post as we learn more.