LA County to open beaches Wednesday for active use; Long Beach considering new rules

Los Angeles County beaches will reopen Wednesday for active use only, but parking lots, piers and boardwalks will remain off limits, county officials announced today. Long Beach has not announced whether its beaches are reopening, but it often follows on the heels of LA County’s decisions.

The beaches have been closed for two months due to the coronavirus pandemic, and they remained off limits even as the coastline reopened for active use in Orange County.

LA County beachgoers will also be restricted to active uses. In other words sunbathing, sitting on the sand, setting up canopies and picnicking will all be off limits, according to the Department of Beaches and Harbors.

Beach parking lots will remain closed, as will the beach bike path and all piers and boardwalks, according to the county.

Beachgoers will also have to wear masks and maintain a 6-foot buffer between themselves and others under continued social-distancing requirements.

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia said Monday that the city would release more information tomorrow on restrictions at its beaches possibly changing.

“Long Beach is having those conversations with our county health partners, and we’re looking at making some adjustments,” Garcia said at a media briefing.

The city reopened the beach bike path on Monday for active use only, keeping other parts of the beach closed. However, Garcia said the city’s intent was always to move toward reopening more of the coastline as it began to allow more outdoor recreation over the weekend.

Included in that rollout were Friday’s reopening of hiking trails, golf courses and curbside pickup for some retail stores.

“The way we’re viewing this area of openings is all one opening just done over a couple of days,” according to the mayor.

Garcia said after Long Beach announces new rules for the beaches on Tuesday, residents shouldn’t expect any new announcements for a while. The city will need to assess whether the changes they made caused any problems.

It could take two weeks before local health officials see any impacts show up in local infection rates and hospitalizations, Garcia said.

“Now we’ve got to really kind of take a look to see what happens with those openings before whatever comes next, comes next,” he said.

You can walk and bike on beach paths starting Monday, but there are new rules

Orange County’s beaches are already open under active-use-only restrictions, however, many people were seen in recent days lying on towels and sunbathing, in apparent defiance of the requirements. Authorities have said they would try to educate people in violation of the rules instead of issuing citations.

Manhattan Beach Mayor Richard Montgomery urged people to adhere to the rules in Los Angeles County.

“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,” he said in a statement. “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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