Any plans for July 4th weekend? Strict new rules by Gov. Newsom may limit what you can do

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- No celebration in the last four months has been "normal" under the coronavirus pandemic. Now, new COVID-19 rules for the Fourth of July weekend are putting a stop to many plans.

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Governor Gavin Newsom announced a number of changes, ahead of the holiday weekend. One approach would limit firework shows and trips to the beach.

"The state of California is not mandating the closure of beaches this weekend, but we are modifying our parking facility operations," he said, Wednesday. "And closing them to traffic throughout the Southern California region as well as parts of Monterey County, Santa Cruz and through the Bay Area."

Separate announcements by Half Moon Bay and Pacifica officials showed the cities would be taking enforcement a step further. Both have confirmed city beaches will be closed for the July 4th weekend.

"It's only for a few days," Pacifica Mayor, Deirdre Martin told ABC7 News. "The most important thing is that we've done so well, we would hate to lose how far we've come."

A release by the City of Half Moon Bay read: "In line with the measures being imposed by the Governor, Half Moon Bay will close all City beaches and their respective parking areas, along with a portion of the Coastal Trail between Seymour Bridge and Kelly Avenue, for the holiday weekend."

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According to Half Moon Bay, the closures begin at sunrise on Friday, July 3. Facilities are expected to reopen at 9:00 AM on Monday, July 6.

Regarding enforcement, the city warned, "The San Mateo County Sheriff's Office has committed to adding additional staff to conduct fireworks enforcement and DUI enforcement. Deputies will be present at all closed beaches and coastal trail sections to enforce applicable local ordinances and state laws."

In Santa Cruz, the message from its mayor to beach-goers remained: consider staying home.

Miles away in Monterey, beaches will also be closed this weekend.

This brought bad news for Modesto resident John Feliciano. He said he promised his daughters they could play at the beach for the 4th.

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"The masks aren't helping people, staying at home isn't helping," Feliciano measures. "I don't think just telling people they're going to stay home for 4th of July- the nation's holiday- that's going to stop everything either."

"Even if you can't necessarily sit and lie on the beach, you can drive by, you can take the road trip of 17-Mile Drive, go along wine country, experience Big Sur," Rachel Dinbokowitz with the Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau suggested.

Whatever you do, just know that the City of Monterey will be enforcing face masks, whether you're indoors or outdoors.

A $100 citation will be issued to people on their first violation.

This is an administrative fine. Tickets will be handed out by code enforcement officers, according to the city.

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Assistant City Manager Nat Rojanasathira explained, "The administrative citiation, which is what someone would be cited for under this code, would be less severe than a misdemeanor."

The goal is to prevent the spread of COVID-19 over the holiday weekend.

"Our message to the public is to continue to be diligent and be aware," Rojanasathira said. "Wear face coverings when out in public and maintain six feet distancing as much as possible."

If you're looking for fireworks, the governor said he believes counties should consider canceling shows.

Addressing the counties on California's watchlist, he explained, "We have worked with those counties, the 19 counties that are mandatory closure lists and we have made it clear privately- now we're making it more abundantly clear publicly- that we believe that they should consider canceling some of their fireworks shows and presentations. By the way, a number of cities have done just that, LA in San Francisco."

Cancellation is the case for most of the Bay Area, except for the City of Gilroy.

They've asked that people view the show from the safety of their own home.

ABC7 News has reached out to city leaders to learn if their plans have changed, but have not heard back.

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