Monterey issues emergency order requiring face masks, closes beaches for 4th of July weekend

MONTEREY COUNTY, Calif. -- The city of Monterey issued an emergency health order Wednesday to require the use of a face covering in business districts while also closing the city's beaches this weekend to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

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City law enforcement have begun enforcing the order, which requires the face coverings for people both inside and outside, and will issue $100 citations to people on their first violation, according to city officials.

People in the city's business districts will also be required to maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others who don't live in the same household.

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"People and businesses know by now that masks are required and we have to compel compliance to reduce the spread of the virus," City Manager Hans Uslar said. "Our educational approach has shown success, yet, we need to do much better."

The city's beach closure for Saturday and Sunday is in anticipation of large crowds during the Fourth of July weekend and covers Del Monte, San Carlos and McAbee beaches, according to the city.

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Ocean activities like swimming, surfing, and kayaking will still be allowed but all beach activities will be prohibited.

"Every one of us has to celebrate with care this Fourth of July," Monterey Mayor Clyde Roberson said. "These weekend restrictions may not be popular, but they are imperative to save lives and reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community."

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