Officials in Los Angeles County revealed they may begin to reopen beaches as early as Wednesday morning this week, albeit with strict restrictions in place. Beaches were ordered closed on May 1st following a weekend in which tens of thousands of people descended on Newport Beach in Orange County, south of Los Angeles, and beaches in Ventura County, north of LA. California Governor Gavin Newsom called this an example of “what not to do” if the state wants to continue its progress fighting the coronavirus.
- Related: California Governor Allows Beaches to Reopen | Active Use Only During Specific Weekday Times
Orange County officials revealed plans last week to reopen beaches but only during certain mid-week times and only for active use. L.A. County plans on introducing a four phase reopening plan for their beaches. The first phase will allow active recreation, including walking, running, swimming, and surfing; but sunbathing, coolers, beach chairs, and canopies will be forbidden, as will gatherings, volleyball, and athletic competitions.
“We don’t want a stampede to the beaches. Right now we’re planning for Wednesday.”
– Nicole Mooradian, public information officer for L.A. County’s Department of Beaches and Harbors
Limits will gradually be lifted in phases, with phase one expected to last about six weeks, depending on attendance and adherence. Phase two would allow visitors in family groups of up to 10, masks required; and chairs, coolers, and canopies would be permitted, along with tightly limited parking in parking lots. Piers and most boardwalks would remain closed, and athletic competitions, youth camps, and large events would still be forbidden.
Phase 3, potentially months away, would allow groups of up to 30 people, and youth camps, but still no large events or athletic competitions. Concession stands would probably open and parking lot capacity would be increased.
The fourth phase would see the resumption of life as normal, traditional beach operations would return.
Los Angeles County has by far been the worst county affected by coronavirus, with 31,268 confirmed cases (almost half of California’s 66,680 cases) and 1,512 deaths (more than half of California’s 2,745).
Los Angeles County, officially the County of Los Angeles, in the Los Angeles metropolitan area of the US state of California, is the most populous county in the United States, with more than ten million inhabitants as of 2018. As such, it is the largest non–state-level government entity in the United States. Its population is larger than that of 41 individual US states, as well as the combined population of the 10 least populous states. It is the third-largest metropolitan economy in the world, with a nominal GDP of over $700 billion—larger than the GDPs of countries such as Belgium and Norway. It has 88 incorporated cities and many unincorporated areas and, at 4,083 square miles, it is larger than the combined areas of Delaware and Rhode Island. The county is home to more than one-quarter of California residents and is one of the most ethnically diverse counties in the US. Its county seat, Los Angeles, is also California’s most populous city and the second-most populous city in the US, with about four million residents.