Santa Monica Beach Sparsely Populated as It Reopens for Exercise Only

Beaches in Los Angeles County were officially reopened May 13 for exercise and activity, officials announced, as long as beachgoers wear masks and practice physical distancing.

Californians are permitted to use beaches for exercise and physical activity, but are not permitted to sit, picnic, sunbathe, barbecue, play sports, or otherwise idle on the shore. Beach parking lots, bike paths, piers, and boardwalks throughout the county will remain closed, local media reported.

This video shows the quiet scene at Santa Monica Beach on Thursday morning, May 14.

Though LA residents have accounted for half of the state’s coronavirus fatalities so far, Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said, the decision to reopen beaches was based on health care stats such as infection rate, mortality, and the ability of local hospitals to meet the needs of residents.

As of May 14, California had reported 73,164 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 3,032 deaths. Los Angeles County accounted for 34,574 of those confirmed cases. Credit: Mitch Friedfeld via Storyful