L.A. County beaches may reopen as early as Wednesday

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Los Angeles County’s beaches will likely reopen as early as Wednesday — but with restrictions, according to the Department of Beaches and Harbors.

With the county moving into the first phase of easing restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus, residents can expect the county’s beaches to be among the next locations to reopen.

The beaches will be open for active use only, according to Nicole Mooradian, spokeswoman for the L.A. County Department of Beaches and Harbors.

In the first of four phases for reopening, residents will be allowed to go swimming, kayaking, running, walking and surfing at L.A. County beaches.

But they can’t lounge on the beach or just sunbathe. To deter people from doing that, the county is forbidding visitors from bringing items like umbrellas, coolers and beach chairs.

Officials hope banning those items will ensure L.A. County’s beaches don’t see the same crowding that was seen in Orange County, according to the spokeswoman.

“We hope that people don’t stampede the beaches,” Mooradian said.

Also, face coverings will be “strongly encouraged” for everyone at the beaches when they’re not in the water, and they have to keep 6 feet away from others, she said.

During this first phase, the county will keep bike paths and parking lots closed.

As of now, the next phase is expected to come after six weeks, but it all depends on how well the first phase goes and on guidance from the county’s health department.

Whether people end up overcrowding the beaches will determine how the county will handle reopening, according to Mooradian.

“Depending on that, we’ll be able to determine when the next phase occurs,” she said. “Basically, we want to learn from what’s going on.”

The next phase may include having parking lots partially reopen and perhaps also allowing people to bring cooler and chairs.

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