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."

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(27) comments


Worked in SLO a couple of years back. The local radio DJs constantly bash people from Bako and Fresno. The coast snobs really loathe us classy folks from Central Cal.


Tourists and their propensity to throw their trash in places other than a trash can is what people who live on the coast hate the most about out of towners. Bakoites have a reputation for being the worst, but I will argue those from the LA basin are just as bad if not worse. Graffiti is worse from those from SoCal that is for sure.


SLO County resident here that was born and raised in Bakersfield.

The reason they're asking you to to wait to come is many of our city employees including garbage men are still furloughed. So Pismo Beach has 4 full time garbage collectors for all the trash cans on the beach. Because everyone is serving take out 4 families of 4 can fill one trash can in about an hour... If they bother to take their trash to the can. When the trash cans get over filled, the seagulls go crazy and make a bigger mess.

What SLO county's beach clean up volunteers are asking is if you come here, bring your own trash bag, pack up your trash and take it home with you and throw it away there.

last weekend the beaches looked like a diaper genie blew up all over it. This is why people here get mad at tourists. And by tourists that includes people from Paso, Atascedero, Santa Maria, Nipomo, Orcutt, LA and yes Fresno and Bakersfield.

The Central Coast loves you guys right back, just sanitation isn't prepared yet to deal with this many people, until yesterday we were still supposed to be on lockdown. And if we get another covid case in this county, they're going to lock us down again and make it even harder for you to visit.

I don't think this makes us elite snobs. I was born in Bakersfield and lived there for 23 years of my life, I have compassion and understand that many view where I now live as their second home but like I said, if you're going to come, please observe what rules are in place and bring your own trash bag and take it with you when you go.


Independent Voter

Stephanie, that isn't the message being communicated to the public through The Tribune, or KSBY-TV. The sole reason SLO County Public Health chief Penny Borenstein says the restrictions have been implemented is to prevent spread of COVID from more infected counties. Nobody anywhere has associated the restrictions with lack of available trash collectors. I am sympathetic to the litter issue but the dots don't connect. There were, what, three new COVID cases in SLO County yesterday? So far, just one death. One. Santa Barbara County has a far higher case count and waaaaay more deaths. I don't see folks living in Santa Maria, Orcutt, Buellton, Solvang, etc. being specifically targeted or identified as being major spreaders threatening SLO County. Look, SLO us free to cut off their nose to spite their face. Go on and continue to ravage local business, hammer those final nails in. Damage that tax base and much-needed revenue. SLO County is perpetuating the mistakes of Newsom and others by using a sledge hammer to push down a thumb tack. Some will be slow to return, others may never as we have long memories and recognize the obvious slight. The poor woman with whom we cancelled reservations with acknowledged that some locals there were treating visitors horribly. Not a good look for a county that can't make it without filthy valley money. When the time is right, I'll spend my money elsewhere.


Hi Stephanie. I have to disagree with you about this being an issue of lack of sanitation workers. I visited Pismo Dunes three years ago on a Tuesday AFTER a holiday weekend. At the beginning of the camping area, there were 6 low roll-off dumpsters that were literally overflowing with trash, and the beach was still wall to wall with rv'ers and offroaders. Now, I DO agree that people who use the beach need to take responsibility for that. If you see that the dumpster is piled 6 feet high with the trash of others, don't throw your trash on the top of the pile too! HOWEVER, it seems to me that if the state (or city, or county) is going to let 50,000 people crowd what is left of the dunes, then they either need to make plans for more dumpsters or more frequent trash pick ups. Don't blame the entire trash problem on people from Bakersfield. The day I was there, the majority of flags I saw being flown weren't American. And no, that isn't a racist comment. it's the truth.

SLO county shouldn't paint with such a narrow brush. Pigs come from everywhere. It will be interesting to see who begs for the good citizens of Bakersfield, Shafter, Fresno and all other valley points to come bail their businesses out when this farce is over with.


Living in Pismo in the 60's & 70's it was a fun place. Rose garden dance hall, penny arcades, parking lot carnival rides. Too bad tourists had to ruin it like they do everything else.


Well hate to tell you, but the central coast is going to be overrun with people from the LA area, people from Bako are the least of their worries. They might want to tell their hotels to stop advertising so much if they don’t want visitors.

Independent Voter

I invite everyone to read this opinion piece in their newspaper.

After reading this, I cancelled a late June trip we had planned, reservations set, etc. This "covidiot", as they call us filthy trash from the San Joaquin Valley, will look elsewhere for future vacations. Ventura, maybe even further north in Monterey County, are excellent alternatives. Those of us "in the know" realize this is all bogus BS.


From the opinion piece it's obvious that the business community is just as anxious to re-open as any other area but, of course, SLO media and officialdom are still part of the Coastal Elite. I say if they're not ready for company there are plenty of other directions for travel when I'm ready for a road trip. Send me an invite when you cut the room tax in half.


Thank you!


First chance I get, after the pandemic, I'm going there. There is not a more beautiful coastline than Central Coast.

Gary Crabtree

Sure makes you feel unwelcome at the coast. But everyone knows they are a bunch of elitist snobs who are happy to take your money sell you shack @ 4x its value.


Crabtree:. The shacks are valued at what people are willing to pay...right ?

Want to get better commission and be respected ? Then clean up your city.

You noticed they didn't send " don't come " notice to citizens north or south on 101.

Independent Voter

Try this editorial from their newspaper on for size, Gary. Very ugly statements about us "covidiots" from the valley.


You're learning.

She Dee

All this tells me is that there will be even more travelers invading their beach communities. You know the type....the groups that think they hold all the cards and the rest of us should just suck it up and get over it. I predict the spread of this virus is only going to get worse.


Spend time at the beach. Spend time eternal in a casket. Fish and chips anyone?

Gene Pool Chlorinator

God, are you afraid of your own shadow???

Dweeb- our resident agoraphobic...

Gene Pool Chlorinator

Can always count on your to be over-the-top (again) when it comes to reopening the economy.

Dweeb- our resident agoraphobic...

All Star

You definitely have issues....


It is going to be the dream vacation. Hazmat suit, masks, gloves and 6 foot social distancing. Worth every penny of that 10 thousand dollars


Oh, if only Valley people knew how they are viewed. Pre - pandemic included.


It's Bakersfield West. Go to Pismo. See all your neighbors.

Gene Pool Chlorinator

You're still here???


You are from the “Valley” so it is no wonder that many of them have a low opinion of our residents. There are many people originally from the Bako who live on the Central Coast. We always try to remind the others that not everyone from the SV are bad seeds, pre-pandemic included.


Veritas:. Who"s from the valley ?


You, da

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