LA County beaches to reopen for active use Wednesday, May 13; masks will be required

Los Angeles County beaches will reopen for active-use only beginning Wednesday, May 13, it was announced Monday.

County officials say this preliminary step will allow them to assess whether additional activities may be permitted at the beach, as long as the risks of spreading the coronavirus are minimized.

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Face coverings will be required while on the beach and when around others, but will not be required in the water. Residents will also be required to maintain six-feet of space between themselves and others.

Parking lots, bike paths, piers and boardwalks will remain closed.

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“Following numerous discussions and meetings with Los Angeles County, I am excited that one of our most valued resources, the beach, will once again be accessible to the public,” said Manhattan Beach Mayor Richard Montgomery. “I urge everyone to follow all Public Health Orders for your safety and your neighbors, and please use the beach responsibly by practicing physical distancing. The beach will be open for active uses only, such as walking, running, surfing and swimming. If beach visitors do not follow all the rules, the State of California or Los Angeles County can once again close our beaches. By abiding by these measures, you will play an important role in keeping the beaches open.”

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According to officials with Manhattan Beach, the beaches will operate under normal hours and can only be utilized for active recreation.

Beachgoers will not be allowed to sunbathe, set up chairs, canopies, coolers, grills, hold gatherings of any size, or have any organized recreational programming (i.e. beach volleyball).

"As a general rule, everyone should avoid crowded areas where possible. Violators of these requirements may be subject to fines and criminal prosecution," Manhattan Beach officials wrote in a press release. 

On Friday, the county allowed certain retail businesses to reopen with curbside service.

RELATED: LA County to reopen all trails; certain businesses with restrictions Friday

The move was made in accordance with the state's reopening guidelines, that allow select "low-risk" businesses to reopen, but only for curbside pick-up.

The businesses allowed to reopen include florists, toy stores, book stores, clothing retailers, sporting-goods stores and music shops.

Car dealers were also allowed to reopen, but with strict social-distancing and infection-control measures in showrooms.

The county's Public Health Director, Dr. Barbara Ferrer said that county inspectors visited 410 businesses over the weekend and found 162 were in violation of the health order. On Monday, she reminded business owners that they need to meet the requirements prior to reopening. Those requirements can be found on the county's website.

The county also reopened its hiking trail system over the weekend, with the exception of the popular Runyon Canyon trails. Visitors are required to wear face coverings and maintain six feet of space from each other.

Officials reported larger, but "manageable" crowds at the county's trails over the weekend, said Ferrer.