In a Facebook post on Sunday, San Diego's mayor started a petition to open local beaches closed because of COVID-19. Richard Bailey criticized the San Diego County public health order for being inconsistent for allowing some activities but denying others. He believes physical activities can still be done outside while respecting social distancing guidelines.
The latest county health order erodes the public's trust, said Bailey.
His statement came after North County Sheriff deputies ticketed locals for violating the state's stay at home order.
He went on to say, "If social distancing is the goal, then does it really matter if you are social distancing in the ocean or on land? Does it make a difference if you are six feet apart from one another while walking on the sidewalk versus walking on the beach? Of course not. Six feet is six feet."
The lengthy post began with a story of a local surfer who was told to get out of the ocean by government officials. Bailey noted that in some areas, violating California's stay-at-home orders results in a $1,000 fine and a misdemeanor.
According to Bailey, state and local officials have made it illegal to participate in a variety of outdoor activities in San Diego County, regardless of whether social distancing is possible.
He went on to ask locals who agreed to join him to sign a petition "decriminalizing" recreational activities on trails, parks, beaches, and bays throughout San Diego County.
The steps to open public spaces and the economy are in the works. Coronado Mayor, Richard Bailey has started a peti… https://t.co/nxwd6EviAU— Kacey McKinnon (@Kacey McKinnon)1587392449.0
The petition allows residents of San Diego to vote on which types of activities should be allowed right now, including but not limited to surfing, swimming, kayaking, picnicking, tennis, and watching the sunset from your car.
This petition will be gathered and presented to the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, other county officials, and California state officials.