San Francisco Mayoress, London Breed, closed parking lots on a popular beach Sunday after she said more than 1,000 people had gathered there to celebrate Burning Man despite coronavirus restrictions.
“That was absolutely reckless and selfish,” she tweeted. “You’re not partying. You endanger people’s lives. They endanger our progress. Nobody is immune to the spread of the virus. “
To avoid repetition, Breed said she would close the parking lots on Ocean Beach on the western edge of town and law enforcement officers would patrol the 3.5-mile strip of the Pacific coast on Sunday.
The annual Labor Day event in the Black Rock Desert north of Reno, Nevada, is virtual this year. But Burning Man started on Baker Beach in San Francisco in 1
Other posts showed a much larger contingent on Ocean Beach.
Brook Casey, a real estate agent who attended the Ocean Beach event, said its organizers were busy providing masks to attendees who didn’t have them, and people stayed in separate groups throughout the night.
Casey, 39, said he was there with a circle of close friends who he kept in touch with throughout the pandemic.
“I’m outside, I’m on the beach with friends I know,” he said. “I felt safe to take that risk.”
San Francisco has registered just over 9,900 cases of coronavirus, according to public health data. 86 people died. The city eased its coronavirus restrictions slightly on September 1, when nail salons, barber shops, and several other types of outdoor stores reopened.
However, outdoor gatherings cannot exceed 12 people.