The first few hours of Memorial Day at the Coronado coast felt nearly normal, and beachgoers were at ease in the sand thanks to apparent lax enforcement of the public health order.
“They were enjoying a regular old Memorial Day weekend sitting on their blankets with their coolers and all of that stuff,” observer Phillip Himel said.
While most minded social distancing and face covering rules, some people and groups could be seen sitting and laying out in the sand – two things not permissible under the current health order.
Then, somewhat abruptly, a message from lifeguards echoed over the loudspeakers.
“We ask that you continuously transit the area at all times,” a lifeguard said from the main tower.
One beachgoer said she was stationary on the sand for some three hours without being bothered by lifeguards or police making the rounds. But as the day went on and crowds grew lifeguards took a firmer stance, she said.
“We were sitting on the beach for about three hours and nobody said anything until a lot of people started to come to the beach,” Nina Moldonado said.
“You just kind all of a sudden -- I think we were rousted out. And that’s kind what everybody did, they packed up and all left within half an hour,” Himel said.
Most beachgoers told NBC 7 it seemed like people at the shoreline were doing their best to keep 6 feet of distance, though one person did say she was surprised by some instances of people not wearing their masks.
NBC 7 reached out to the mayor of Coronado about public health order enforcement and weekend turnout and has not heard back.