Please don't come.
It's a tough message to hear but that's the one that one county on the Central Coast is trying to send to potential visitors from Bakersfield and Kern County about the upcoming holiday weekend.
While beaches are open, officials in San Luis Obispo County want to limit the spread of coronavirus — for health reasons and also so as not to jeopardize the county's ability to reopen.
"It's not that we want to keep people from coming here it's that we want to discourage tourism in general. We want to keep (COVID-19) incidence rates low," said Michelle Shoresman, a spokeswoman for San Luis Obispo County.
To that end, San Luis Obispo county health officials last week passed an order that limits hotel occupancy rates to 50 percent.
Residential vacation rentals, such as Airbnb, must reduce permitted tenancies per month by 50 percent.
The order also states that hotels and lodging facilities should not book rooms for leisure or recreation visits. Rooms are only to be booked for essential workers, individuals with the virus who need to isolate from family and people who are traveling there to care for a vulnerable relative.
The order applies to hotels, motels, cabins, bed and breakfast inns, timeshares, RV parks, campgrounds and residential vacation rentals.
San Luis Obispo County is home to some beloved locations for Kern residents, including beach towns like Pismo Beach, Cambria and Morro Bay, and destinations like Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Park and Hearst Castle, which are both temporarily closed.
But beaches on the Central Coast remain open and are a tempting getaway for Kern residents who are stuck at home and want to escape boredom and the impending heat.
Asked if it's OK for people who own second homes in coastal communities to travel there, Shoresman said county officials are not specifying what type of travel is acceptable or not. It simply wants people to stay home and follow the state orders in place.
Kern County Public Health Services spokeswoman Michelle Corson said a state health order issued May 7 addresses nonessential travel.
The order states: "To prevent further spread of COVID-19 to and within other jurisdictions within the state, Californians should not travel significant distances and should stay close to home."
San Luis Obispo County government ran advertisements on social media in recent weeks to gently tell people that it's best they stay home and not head to the coast.
One of the messages read: "Family is central to us. From the valley to the coast, let’s keep all of our families safe. San Luis Obispo County is proud to be your home away from home, but right now staying home is the way to beat COVID-19."