EL PASO, Texas -- Authorities have shut down El Paso's Scenic Drive as well the Red Sands area to the public as of this weekend in the hopes of preventing group gatherings that could contribute to the spread of coronavirus.
"Effective immediately, Scenic Drive will be closed to both vehicle and pedestrian traffic to reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19," said a statement issued by the City of El Paso.
"The closure will remain in place until further notice and is intended to prevent the public from gathering along the winding road’s lookout spots and park," city officials said in the statement.
Meantime, the El Paso County Sheriff's Office said it was "closing and actively patrolling" Red Sands, the desert area behind the Socorro Athletic Complex.
Sheriff's officials said the public is not allowed to frequent the Red Sands area and added that violators could face a misdemeanor charge resulting in a fine or jail time.
The shutting down of both Scenic Drive and Red Sands is a result of the recent city and county "stay home" orders that prohibit public gatherings of any size at recreational areas.