SAN FRANCISCO—Thousands flocked to San Francisco’s beaches on Memorial Day, May 25, as people enjoyed the holiday amid a heat wave.
Despite the crowded beaches, most beach-goers seemed determined to practice social distancing to some extent, as large areas of unoccupied sand were evident between some groups.
However, the image was still alarming to some, and caused some concerns. The San Francisco Emergency Operations Center released a public statement on Memorial Day, which stated:“We understand that people want to enjoy the great water and spend time with friends and family. However, the fact remains that the Stay Home Order is still in effect, and the virus continues to circulate in our community. As a city, let’s stay smart and continue to protect loved ones and neighbors vulnerable to this virus. Together, we can safely re-open San Francisco.”
Despite the protocols for social distancing and mask wearing, not everyone practiced these measures on Monday, May 25. There were still sunbathers, large groups of friends and family, and people without face coverings who were gathered on the beach.
The SFPD released a statement on social media ahead of the holiday that stated “For the weekend we are still advising people to adhere to the public health order and maintain social distancing.”
Amid the pandemic, there has been growing fatigue from months of the Shelter-In-Place order, as many are growing eager to grab some relief outside, or return back to work. As officials have encouraged people to go out and exercise, but also to remain at home, the holiday revealed that there appears to be some confusion regarding the right preventative protocols to follow for outside activities: “People are going to be outside today. You know, it’s the start of summer. We’ve all been cooped up. It’s like a champagne cork coming off a bottle.”, said Phil Ginsburg, from San Francisco Recreation and Parks.
As San Francisco locals enjoyed the holiday outside, the SFPD patrolled crowded areas around the city to enforce the rules. According to the SFPD, over 300 tickets and parking citations were handed out for cars illegally parked in lots or along the Great Highway, and over 1,300 people had to be reminded to maintain social distance or wear a face covering.