Maskless Los Angeles County Beachgoers May Face Hefty Fines

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Officials from the Department of Beaches and Harbors issued rules for L.A. County beaches, which permits basic beach activities, such as sunbathing, fishing, picnicking, and swimming. However, other activities, beach volleyball, organized sports, and large gatherings, for example, are prohibited.

Additionally, beachgoers are required to maintain proper social distancing, keeping a six-foot distance from others, except those within the same household. Everyone above the age of two is required to wear a face-covering “when out of the water,” per the guidelines, which were last updated September 4, days before Labor Day.

The face-covering requirement coincides with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health’s reopening protocol for public beaches, which states that “everyone who visits the beaches must wear a face covering at all times (except while eating or drinking, or while in the water).”

“Those between the ages of 2 and 8 should use them under adult supervision to ensure that the child can breathe safely and to avoid choking or suffocation,” the guidance states. “Only individuals who have been instructed not to wear a face covering by their medical provider are exempt from wearing one.”

Those who violate the guidelines could face hefty fines, as reported by Deadline:

In Manhattan Beach, for example, people who fail to wear masks can face fines beginning at $100 and ranging up to $350. In Santa Monica, violators could be fined as much as $500.

County Department of Beaches and Harbors officials also emphasized that barbecues and bonfires are prohibited at the beaches and in beach parking lots.

Officials have warned that beaches may shut down if areas get too crowded and beachgoers fail to adhere to public health directives.

“We cannot stress enough the importance of following the public health guidelines,” Beaches and Harbor Director Gary Jones said in a statement.

“It is absolutely imperative that beachgoers avoid crowds. If the beaches get too crowded, we may be forced to close them again,” Jones added.

The emphasis on adhering to the guidelines comes as the area faces a heatwave, temperatures rising well into the 100s: