Thousands of people packed the shoreline of the city beach in Carlsbad, in defiance of COVID-19 restrictions issued by the county of San Diego. Carlsbad police and lifeguards are not issuing citations.
A Carlsbad Police Department spokesperson said they are choosing to "educate" and leave it up to the best judgement of beachgoers.
But just to the south, where the city beach turns into Carlsbad State Beach, state lifeguards spent Memorial Day weekend ordering beachgoers to keep moving or they would be cited.
Lyle and Chelsea Negron stopped at the state beach just after noon with their two young children and were asked to keep moving.
“I think it’s a bit extreme. Very extreme. We’re just a family trying to sit down on the beach, there’s nobody around us, we just wanted to eat real quick and continue with our day, but apparently that’s just not allowed,” said Chelsea Negron.
Signs were posted in the sand along the three-quarter-mile stretch of city beach in Carlsbad. They reminded beachgoers not to stop, sit or lie down on the beach. The signs also say there is no gatherings of any kind, no games or sports, no shoreline fishing, no yoga, stretching, calisthenics or similar activities standing in one place.
Yet, without enforcement, lifeguards expected about 3,000 people to show up at the city beach. Typically, lifeguards say they’ll get crowds as big as 4,000 during Fourth of July weekend.
“We’re all under the age of 30 and I have a young child, so I think as long as we stay safe and away from people that do have health concerns, than we’re doing our best to do what’s best for everyone else too,” said Haley Mauser of Carlsbad.
One beachgoer said it was appropriate to be here on Memorial Day to honor those who have fallen.
“It’s my respect of them, to show my respect of freedom for what they did for me, for you and anybody else that wants to live here,” said Dina Barrientos of Carlsbad.
Carlsbad police say they did not issue any COVID-19 related citations over the Memorial Day weekend. No one with State Lifeguards was available for comment.
Meanwhile, to the north, police in Oceanside say they have not issued any citations related to COVID-19 infractions.