Los Angeles County beaches may begin opening back up to visitors as early as Wednesday, May 13. It will be a gradual reopening, initially simply allowing access to beach areas for active outdoor activities. County officials ask that masks be worn whenever beachgoers are not in the water, maintain physical distancing, and do not sit, lounge, or gather on the shore. This phase of beach reopening will be monitored closely for a period of weeks before moving into the next step of normalization.
“We don’t want a stampede to the beaches,” Nicole Mooradian, public information officer for L.A. County’s Department of Beaches and Harbors, told the Los Angeles Times. She added that they expect this first step of opening to last about six weeks. “It could be shorter and it could be longer. It just depends on how many people come, and what the attendance looks like.”
Individual coastal cities within the county may set their own stricter rules or slower reopening guidelines. Mooradian stated that she expects cities to begin making their own specific announcements soon.
If things go well, the next phase would allow for relaxing on the beach, even bringing a cooler or umbrella, as long as you stay only with your quarantine-mates and stay distant from anyone else. It’s expected that the 22-mile Marvin Braude Bike Path would open during this phase, but capacity would be restricted to avoid crowding. Masks would still be required.
During the subsequent phases—which, the Times reports, could still be months away—things start to look more and more like the beach experience you remember from before the pandemic. Groups of up to 30 would be allowed to gather, including mixing of people who do not live together, and some group youth activities can resume. Concession stands and other facilities would reopen and filming permits could be issued for productions. The very last step will be opening up full capacity at parking lots and allowing for sports and other large events.
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