CALIFORNIA — Los Angeles County beaches will be closed over the Fourth of July weekend after an order was issued by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on Monday, June 29 to prevent overcrowding that could contribute to the spread of COVID-19.

Public beaches, piers, parking lots, and beach bike paths as well as beach entry points will be closed starting on July 3 at 12:01 a.m. and will reopen on Monday, July 6 at 5 a.m.

The decision comes after seeing rising numbers in coronavirus cases in the county as the economy is slowly beginning to reopen and protests are continuing to happen. On Monday, the county reported 2,903 new cases and 22 new deaths today as the total death toll now at 100,772 deaths.

Director of Public Health Barbara Ferrer said, “Closing the beaches and prohibiting fireworks displays during this important summer holiday weekend was an incredibly difficult decision to make, but it’s the responsible decision to protect public health and protect our residents from a deadly virus. The Fourth of July holiday weekend typically means large crowds and gatherings to celebrate, a recipe for increased transmission of COVID-19.”

In place of the rising numbers, California Governor Gavin Newsom on Sunday, June 28 announced the closure of bars, pubs, and nightclubs across seven counties in the state, which included Los Angeles.

“We all need to take this virus more seriously and residents and business owners must do their part. Physical distancing isn’t optional, wearing a face-covering isn’t optional, spending time only with those you live with isn’t optional — these are requirements in the Health Officer Order and are the tools we have to protect each other, our families and those most vulnerable in our communities,” said Ferrer.

Local police are expected to patrol beaches throughout the weekend as the order makes it illegal to trespass in these locations. Violators are punishable by law and can face fines of up to $1000 if found trespassing.