City of Oakland logoTo encourage physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic and in alignment with the Alameda County Public Health Order in effect through the end of May, the City of Oakland is implementing the following measures at City parks, starting on Friday, May 15 through Sunday, May 31:

  • To reduce the concentration of people at City parks, no vending—including food trucks—will be allowed in or adjacent to City parks.
  • Parking lots at all City parks will remain closed.
  • No parking adjacent to Lake Merritt will be permitted on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, and the Memorial Day holiday.

We still encourage walkers, joggers, and cyclists to get outdoors for fresh air and exercise, which is important to our health, but in keeping with the County order to stop the spread of COVID-19, we are discouraging gatherings and crowds in our parks. Check out Oakland Slow Streets for good options in neighborhoods throughout the city for exercise.

On Fridays and weekends, teams of City Park Ambassadors will continue to rove City parks and circle Lake Merritt wearing bright-colored shirts to remind park users about park rules and physical distancing, and provide face coverings and information about free COVID-19 testing.

“Parks and outdoor spaces provide much-needed respite for Oaklanders year-round, especially while we are sheltering in place to stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Mayor Libby Schaaf. “But our parks have become overcrowded on weekends, and for our collective health, we need to give the Lake—and our City parks — a break! We hope that the presence of our new Park Ambassadors will help to remind, educate, and engage the Oakland community around the Alameda County’s Shelter-in-Place Order. We appreciate Oakland’s continued adherence to the Order. Together we can stay healthy and beat COVID-19.”

“We are thankful our residents and businesses have complied with the shelter in place order and helped us to flatten the curve,” said Dr. Erica Pan, Health Officer for Alameda County. “Social distancing hasn’t been easy, but it has slowed the increase of new cases, prevented our health systems from becoming overwhelmed, and saved lives.”


The City is placing electronic signs around Lake Merritt displaying health and safety rules. Also, staff will place signage and tape-off the playground on Saturday morning to help support social distancing requirements.


To reduce the concentration of people at City parks, no vending—including food trucks—will be allowed in or adjacent to City parks starting Friday, May 15. Municipal Code Enforcement Officers with the City Administrator’s Office will conduct outreach to vendors and their customers with information on both how to vend legally and how to comply with Alameda County’s physical distancing requirements. Staff will also be distributing masks to vendors and their customers as supplies allow.

Police Department:

The Oakland Police Department (OPD) will monitor the flow of traffic around the Lake Merritt area when personnel are available, and when able, officers will walk the area to educate people about the Alameda County’s Health Order and hand out face coverings.