MANHATTAN BEACH, CA — The beach bike path and the Strand have reopened just in time for Memorial Day weekend but Manhattan Beach city officials are warning people to continue social distancing at the beach Saturday.
City officials announced they would continue to patrol the Manhattan Beach area and have hired additional security for the holiday weekend.
"Gatherings of any size or other events are not allowed on the beaches including athletic competitions, youth camps, or recreational programming," according to a city news release. "Chairs, umbrellas, canopies, coolers, and grills are not allowed. The Pier and volleyball courts remain closed."
The county also announced that parking lots and bike paths at several state beaches can reopen, including Dockweiler State Beach, Will Rogers State Beach, Zuma Beach and Surfrider Beach.
This comes after several beaches in Orange County also reopened their parking lots, including Seal Beach and Bolsa Chica State Beach.
The county on Thursday reopened its 22-mile bike path that stretches from Pacific Palisades to Torrance. The path had remained closed despite beaches reopening last week for active use, in hopes of preventing large gatherings of people on the often-congested trail.
On Friday, the county also announced the reopening of parking lots at Dockweiler State Beach, Will Rogers State Beach, Zuma Beach and Surfrider Beach, but only at partial capacity. With beaches reopening for at least partial use, issues have arisen with people flocking to the coast but being forced to find street parking in coastal neighborhoods, leading to congestion issues.
Don't miss local and statewide news about coronavirus developments and precautions. Sign up for Patch alerts and daily newsletters.
Hours after the county announcement, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that the city will reopen parking lots at Cabrillo and Venice beaches, as well as beach bike paths running through the city.
"Our beaches, have already been open ... to active recreation like swimming and surfing and running and walking," Garcetti said. "And now, biking is allowed once again, but we want to prevent crowds, so even during this holiday weekend, don't gather with others."
Sports facilities at Venice Beach remain closed for the time being, the mayor said.
County officials warned anyone heading to the beach that face coverings are mandatory while not in the water. The active-use restriction also forbids sunbathing on the sand, meaning chairs, umbrellas, canopies and coolers are still barred. Piers, boardwalks and volleyball courts also remain off-limits.
The county on Friday also authorized retail stores located in enclosed shopping malls to reopen for curbside merchandise pickup only. Customers are still not permitted to enter enclosed shopping malls. County officials urged shopping malls to establish marked curbside pickup areas for customers to pick up goods.
Also approved on Friday were car parades to allow for celebrations of graduations, birthdays or other occasions. The guidelines, however, require participants to be inside enclosed vehicles -- no convertibles -- and if windows are open, vehicle occupants must wear face coverings.
Large-scale parades much have a designated host and security to ensure compliance with health regulations.
Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Austin Beutner praised the change, which will allow students to celebrate their graduations.
"As we have said—and have wanted to do all along—we would allow those at our schools to plan celebrations which include gatherings as long as they are in accordance with guidelines from Los Angeles County health authorities," he said.
- City News Service and Patch Staffer Nicole Charky contributed to this report.
- FTC Warns SoCal Companies Over Fake Coronavirus Marketing
- Class Of 2020: Santa Monica High's Ian Gomez
- Make Funnel Cakes At Home: A Patch Recipe Share