Southern California city votes to keep beaches open

Coronavirus

Surfers prepare to enter the water at Sumner Beach as level four COVID-19 restrictions are eased in Christchurch, New Zealand, Tuesday, April 28, 2020. New Zealand eased its strict lockdown restrictions to level three at midnight to open up certain sections of the economy but social distancing rules will still apply. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

May 04 2021 05:30 pm

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Newport Beach has voted to keep its beaches open despite criticism by California’s governor that weekend crowds threatened efforts to slow the coronavirus.

The City Council voted Tuesday to reject a motion to close the beaches for the next three weekends, although the famous Wedge surfing spot is shut down.

The vote during a virtual meeting came after 80,000 people hit shores in the Orange County city last weekend when the first heat wave of the year sent temperatures soaring.

Lifeguards said most people appeared to be obeying social distancing rules by maintaining a distance between groups. 

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