The city of Encinitas has reversed part of its public-space closure orders with the reopening of the Coastal Rail Trail and the walking path on Coast Highway 101 as of Friday, April 24.
The walkways had been closed starting April 16 as part of social distancing efforts to stem the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. The closures of Encinitas beaches and walkways drew protests the following weekend that gained national attention.
In its announcement of the reopening, the city noted that the number of confirmed Encinitas coronavirus cases stood at 34 since April 11. New cases in San Diego County overall, however, jumped to their highest number in the past several weeks — 152 new cases on April 22, the highest since March 30 at 131.
As of Friday afternoon, Encinitas residents on social media observed that downtown Encinitas traffic had increased, with significant use of the reopened walkways and few observed uses of masks or social distancing.
In its announcement, the city reminded residents that violations of the California Emergency Services Act carry a misdemeanor charge and a possible fine of up to $1,000, up to six months in jail, or both.
After the Encinitas protests over the weekend of April 18, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department announced it would consider seeking prosecution of rally organizers.
“While no citations were issued at the protests, that does not mean prosecution will not be sought, especially to the organizers of these events,” the department stated in a joint announcement with the San Diego Police Department on April 20.
On April 3, sheriff’s deputies cited several people in Encinitas who were violating social-distance orders during sunset viewing.
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