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What am I allowed to do outside this Memorial Day?


What am I allowed to do outside this Memorial Day?
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Can I go to the beach?

In San Francisco, yes, you can go to the beach. But there’s a caveat: You cannot park in any of the designated beach parking lots. You’ll need to walk or bike in. The same goes for open beaches in San Mateo County, including Half Moon Bay, Venice Beach and Montara State Beach. You can enjoy the sun if you live nearby.

In Marin County, things are different. All national, state and county parks and beaches — along with their parking lots — are closed.

What am I allowed to do outside this Memorial Day?
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Can I lay down a blanket at the open beaches?

Sorry, not yet.

State-run beaches in the Bay Area, like Montara State Beach and Half Moon Bay, are under a strict “keep it moving” policy, meaning locals who live nearby and want to visit the beach must actively be on a walk or run. Unfortunately, that means no sitting, sunbathing or picnicking, even with those you live with.

San Mateo County-run beaches, like Tunitas Creek, are a little bit more flexible, but you still can’t relax there. The county prohibits anything that would facilitate comfortable basking in the sun, including “umbrellas, shade structures, tents, coolers, chairs, hammocks, and other conveyances designed to sit and or lounge.”

Beaches run by the National Parks, like Ocean Beach and Baker Beach in San Francisco, have the most wiggle room. The government hasn’t closed those federally-run beaches, it’s only closed parking lots and other facilities like, unfortunately, the bathrooms. So in short, you can go, you can lounge and play, but only for a while.

What am I allowed to do outside this Memorial Day?
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Can I go to a park?

Yes, but you should keep it to one that’s within 10 miles of your house and/or in your county. (The same goes for beaches.) Ideally, you won’t need to drive there, but most Bay Area health officers agree that it’s fine to get outdoors and sit on the grass as long as you practice social distancing and wear a mask as often as possible.

What am I allowed to do outside this Memorial Day?
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Can I go for a hike with a friend if we both wear masks?

It’s not encouraged, but yes, as long as the trail is open, and you remain 6 feet away from your companion (if you don’t live with them).

What am I allowed to do outside this Memorial Day?
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Can I go fishing?

Maybe, depending on where you live. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has closed high-traffic facilities and its licensing counters, but some areas of the Bay Area are open for fishing. Before you head to a CDFW facility, you’ll need to reach out to the agency’s Bay Delta Region (Region 3) at (707) 428-2002 or [email protected] to make sure you’re good to go.


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