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Following a closed-session Newport Beach City Council discussion Thursday evening with Newport Beach’s police chief and City Manager, Mayor Will O’Neill expressed confidence in the City of Newport Beach’s continued ability to protect and serve residents during these trying times.

On Tuesday the City Council voted to keep the beaches open for recreation and exercise, to provide for the physical and mental well-being of residents. The City was preparing to increase public safety presence at the beaches and adjacent neighborhoods to ensure adherence to the Governor’s Stay at Home order. However, the City is responding to the Governor’s order that was issued this afternoon.

The Governor’s brief and general directive raises enforcement questions, O’Neill said, that will require further clarification from the Governor’s office and state Office of Emergency Services. The City’s public safety officers will strive to educate the public on the Governor’s directive and are hopeful citations will be unnecessary.

The Newport Beach City Council will hold a separate special meeting, expected this weekend, to discuss legal options to challenge the directive.