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SLO County restricts outdoor areas: Pismo, Avila piers closed by social distancing concerns

SLO County restricts outdoor areas: Pismo, Avila piers closed by social distancing concerns

San Luis Obispo County has announced the closure of popular outdoor areas and their parking lots to discourage visitors and prevent further spread of the coronavirus.

Along with the closure of parking lots at all Morro Bay beaches, both the Pismo and Avila piers have been closed, due to the difficulty of ensuring social distancing among visitors. 

Pismo Beach will remain open to the public but only for short activities such as walks, with "loitering" on the beach no longer permitted. 

Social distancing also will be enforced among those at the beach, city officials said. 

In addition, Pismo Beach also will be changing all city-owned parking lots and meters to one-hour only.

Port San Luis and Avila Beach will remain open, but the use of fire pits at the beach will be discontinued.  

The county also has closed El Chorro Regional Park and all county campgrounds.

Further, the city of San Luis Obispo has closed certain parts of popular hiking areas, including the Lemon Grove Loop on Cerro San Luis and the Summit Trail on Bishop Peak, where trails do not allow for social distancing.

While the public is encouraged to still spend time outside during the shelter-at-home order, social distancing concerns have caused other public areas such as the Pismo Preserve to close over the past week.

"The reason why we are doing this is to discourage large groups from other areas coming into our county to recreate. We are not closing the beaches themselves or the regional parks. We want locals to have the ability to get outside. Again, the intent behind this is to discourage large groups of visitors to come to our county at this time," County Administrative Officer Wade Horton said at a press conference Thursday. 

Visitors to all public areas are encouraged to maintain social distancing to prevent the spread of the virus. 

Coronavirus Series: Local impact and reaction to COVID-19 on the Central Coast

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Laura Place covers city government for the Santa Maria Times.

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Santa Maria City Reporter

Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Laura Place covers city government, policy and elections in Santa Maria and Santa Barbara County. Follow her on Twitter @itslaurasplace

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