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Los Angeles County Reopens All its Beaches to Public Amid Stay-at-home Order

Beachgoers sit on Venice Beach during the coronavirus outbreak, in Los Angeles. (Image: AP)

Beachgoers sit on Venice Beach during the coronavirus outbreak, in Los Angeles. (Image: AP)

Beach visitors were required to wear face coverings out of the water and stay at least 1.8 metres apart from each other, the county's Department of Beaches and Harbors said on Wednesday.

  • IANS
  • Last Updated: May 26, 2020, 12:47 PM IST
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The Los Angeles County has reopened all its beaches to the public with restrictions, after a six-week temporary closure amid California's statewide stay-at-home order to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Beach visitors were required to wear face coverings out of the water and stay at least 1.8 metres apart from each other, the county's Department of Beaches and Harbors said on Wednesday.

Beaches will be opened for "keep moving" activities and exercise only, including swimming, surfing, running and walking, under the rules. Lying or sitting on sand, canopies, coolers or picnicking will not be allowed by law enforcers.

Beach parking lots, bike path, volleyball courts, piers and boardwalks will remain closed until further notice.

Los Angeles County operates and manages 20 beaches stretching along a third of the county's pristine 120 km mainland coast.

Public beaches and trails were closed on March 27 in Los Angeles County in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under California Governor Gavin Newsom's four-phase guidelines, Los Angeles County is moving to reopen sectors of its economy, rolling back restrictions on certain types of businesses and public sites.

Parks and hiking trails in the county have been reopened since May 9 as the most populous U.S. state is easing stay-at-home rules and business restrictions.

But as the virus continued to spread across the country, Los Angeles County health officials warned on Tuesday that the county's stay-at-home orders in response to the pandemic will likely be extended for another three months.

A new health officer order was issued on Wednesday by the county's Department of Public Health that replaces the previous health officer order and allows for lower-risk businesses and select recreational facilities and beaches to reopen.

The new order continues to require that specific higher-risk businesses remain closed and prohibits public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a single household or living unit.

"We are mindful that as we begin our recovery journey, we need to be sure to take care not to have a large increase in deaths and hospitalizations," said Barbara Ferrer, director of the county's Department of Public Health, on Wednesday.

"And while today, more business and outdoor spaces are reopening, our recovery journey will be slow. All of us will need to continue to keep each other as safe as possible," she added.

Los Angeles County reported 1,264 new COVID-19 cases and 47 more virus-related deaths on Wednesday, raising the countywide total to 34,428 cases with 1,659 deaths.


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