By Shawn Raymundo

The city of San Clemente on Tuesday, March 24, escalated its efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by announcing that it will be closing the pier to the public, as well as city-owned parking lots that provide access to the beaches.

“All City-owned beachfront parking lots and the San Clemente Municipal Pier will close to the public until further notice,” the city said in a press release. “This action aligns with the most recent guidance from Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office to limit public gatherings and reduce the spread of COVID-19.”

Beginning on Wednesday, March 25, the parking lots at Linda Lane, Pier Bowl & Parque Del Mar and T-Street were closed. The North Beach Parking Lot will also close, with the exception of spots available for commuters using the Metrolink.

The beaches and beach trail will remain open, the city said, before noting that “this is subject to change pending further guidance or directives from the County of Orange or the California Department of Public Health.”

“Users must follow social distancing guidelines and maintain a six-foot separation from people that are not part of their households at all times,” the city said in its release.

The latest directive came on the heels of the county leaders ordering staff to close the parking lots to several nearby beaches.

Local San Clemente surfers Jessea Wiedeman (left) and Shaw Kobayashi search for a spot to surf at T-Street on Monday, March 23. Photo: Shawn Raymundo

San Clemente Times caught up with a pair of local surfers who were out catching waves at T-Street on Monday, March 23. Jessea Wiedeman and Shaw Kobayashi, both San Clemente residents, said they’ve been staying indoors, with the exception of surf sessions.

“We are (practicing social distancing). We’ve been staying inside other than just coming out and surfing,” Wiedeman said. “We’ve been keeping our distance from the crowds. Like we’re not hanging out around the beach or anything.”

Besides continuing to surf, Wiedeman added that she and Kobayashi have been heeding the directives from local and state officials, and have worked to keep up with reports, “keeping an eye for any of the beaches closing and stuff like that.”

Questions regarding the closures due to the novel coronavirus can be directed to the city by email at covid19@san-clemente.org. Additional information on the closures can also be found at san-clemente.org/coronavirus.

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