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New facial covering ordinance takes effect in San Diego

Ordinance requires facial coverings in most public areas unless exercising or moving.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — As San Diego slowly begins reopening certain recreational areas this week with restrictions, there are also new restrictions being rolled out when it comes to physical distancing.

“It’s nice to get outside. To get some fresh air, and just smell the ocean, and enjoy the views,” said Donnie Andreozzi, as he walked in La Jolla.

Starting Friday, May 1, facial coverings are required for most public settings.

That includes shopping, going inside open businesses, public transportation, and essential workers that work with the public.

The new ordinance does not require facial coverings when you’re walking, running, surfing, or really just moving for exercise. They also aren’t required when driving alone, or when you’re with people who live in your household.

However, they say you should always have a facial covering handy just in case someone comes within your six feet safety region.

Those caught breaking the ordinance could be charged with a misdemeanor.

“Not only is it okay to get outside, it is encouraged to get outside to exercise, to walk, to be with your family, and get some sun. We just want people to do it responsibly," said San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher at a news conference this week.

County leaders also reminded people about what it will take to make sure we move forward in our efforts to fight the corona virus.

“That means as we gradually turn the dial we have to double down on our efforts around physical distancing, face coverings and ensuring proper things like hand washing,” Fletcher said.

With the Governor of California already ordering Orange County beaches to re-close due to crowds breaking the rules, most San Diegans didn’t mind doing their part to keep that from happening here.

“I mean when you’re around a lot of people, you just don’t know. So, I think safety first, as inconvenient as it is. It makes sense right now,” Andreozzi said. 

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