Californians Defying Coronavirus Guidelines, Still Heading to Beaches and Packing Farmer’s Markets

Californians continued to pack public places this weekend despite the state's strict stay-at-home order. Photos from California show beaches, hiking trails and even farmers' markets packed this weekend, with many people less than six feet apart. The sight has many people exasperated as the coronavirus pandemic continues to escalate.

A combination of good weather and cabin fever coaxed California residents out of their homes this weekend. Photos on social media show people at parks, nature preserves, hiking trails and other places that should be relatively empty right now. According to a report by TMZ, the number of people visiting beaches actually increased throughout the week, despite L.A. County's mandatory closure of all beaches. Police are reportedly stretched too thin to admonish these people.

Under the state's stay-at-home order, anyone seen on beaches this week should have been ticketed, but many were reportedly left alone. Some were even seen in the water, paddle-boarding or surfing.

Meanwhile, the hiking trail alongside Hermosa Beach was reportedly packed this weekend, leaving no hope for people to maintain the recommended six feet of distance between each other. Perhaps most shocking of all, the Santa Monica Farmers' Market carried on as usual this week, forcing police to step in and close the function down.

The outrage over these gatherings has caused some confusion about the latest social distancing guidelines. With the coronavirus pandemic raging on, experts say that people should leave their homes only for essential trips, like buying groceries, picking up prescriptions or working in hospitals.

However, experts have also said that it is safe to go for a jog, a walk or get some other form of exercise outdoors, provided you stay six feet away from other people.

Still, these numbers are just guidelines, and do not guarantee safety. While some national, state and local parks are still open, the CDC has repeatedly said that people should avoid "crowded places." In addition, the National Park Service has asked people to continue practicing social distancing while visiting the park.


"We are concerned that current visitation patterns are not meeting current CDC guidance on social distancing," read a post last month on the official Zion National Park Instagram page. "If you are coming to the park, please choose to visit areas that are not crowded to allow for adequate social distancing."

To be safe, many people are avoiding parks or even walks on the street altogether if they have a yard or other private space to themselves. For the latest information on the COVID-19 pandemic, visit the CDC's website.