Crowds of people were seen at Huntington and Newport beaches and officials are expecting even larger crowds over the weekend.
HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. -- Tens of thousands flocked to Orange County beaches that are still open during the coronavirus pandemic as the hot weather settled over the region.
Surfers and crowds of people were seen along the Huntington Beach coast as the region is experiencing a heat wave that is expected to last through the weekend. Officials urged individuals to continue practicing physical distancing when outside, but that didn't seem to be the case Friday afternoon. Many beach goers were seen with less than six feet between them and many weren't wearing face coverings.
While the beach may be open, the parking lots aren't which forced many to look for parking in adjacent neighborhoods. Officials are bracing for the crowds to get bigger over the weekend.
"We're trying to ask people to maybe put themselves in our residents' position and think about the fact that our residents also have limited parking," said Hungtingon Beach Officer Angela Bennett. She added that while it may be challenging, officers will be enforcing parking violations.
Newport Beach also saw large crowds. Area lifeguards estimate up to 40,000 people were on the beach on Friday - double what they saw the day before.
Earlier this week, the county Board of Supervisors voted to keep some beaches and outdoor areas open, though parking lots would remain closed.
Meanwhile in neighboring Los Angeles County, beaches remain closed and officials are asking residents to avoid traveling to other counties with less stringent stay-at-home orders, such as Ventura County.
Here's a breakdown of what beaches are currently open in Orange County as of Friday:
Huntington Beach: Lots, metered parking and pier closed
Newport Beach: The Wedge and surrounding area, parking lots, piers, Oceanfront Boardwalk, Balboa Island Bayfront Walkway closed
Laguna Beach: Closed
Dana Point: Parking lots closed
San Clemente, city: Open starting Saturday 4/25 at 6 a.m. For active use only, no gathering in groups of 10 or more, no settling in place
State Beaches: Parking closed, San Clemente State Beach closed completely
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