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The Newport Beach City Council in Orange County, Calif., Tuesday reportedly voted to keep the beach open despite Gov. Gavin Newsom’s condemnation of the weekend crowds despite coronavirus warnings.

The council voted 5-2 against the measure and instead advised city officials to enforce social distancing at the beach, FOX 11 in Los Angeles reported.

An estimated 40,000 beachgoers packed Newport Beach both Friday and Saturday as Southern California temperatures soared into the nineties.

Swimmers and surfers wade in the water Sunday, April 26, 2020, in Newport Beach, Calif. A lingering heat wave lured people to California beaches, rivers and trails again Sunday, prompting warnings from officials that defiance of stay-at-home orders could reverse progress and bring the coronavirus surging back. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

“You didn’t see those images at L.A. beaches and San Diego beaches and [in] Northern California,” Newsom said Monday of the Newport Beach crowds, “because we had strong guidelines that were not only adopted but were abided by,” The Los Angeles Times reported.


He called it an example of what “not to do” and promised to increase enforcement of the statewide stay-at-home order if people aren’t social distancing.

“We’ll have a little work to do to improve upon Saturday,” he added.

He said large crowds will slow California’s efforts to reopen the economy, FOX 11 reported.

The Newport Beach measure would have closed the beaches for the first three weeks of May.

“The vast majority of the beach visitors this weekend were practicing social distancing, but many were not,” the city said in a statement.

The parking lot, pier and boardwalk have remained closed to deter visitors, which left beach neighborhoods packed with cars, The Times reported.

Beaches in Los Angeles and San Diego are closed while Orange County and Ventura County have kept theirs open.


Some San Diego beaches have opened for activities like walking and surfing.

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