SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — San Diego lifeguards are preparing for large crowds over the weekend.
It will be the first weekend that beaches are open since they closed more than a month ago due to the pandemic.
Many beaches in San Diego County opened with limitations on Monday. Del Mar and Solana Beach will reopen their beaches on May 4. Carlsbad is also looking towards a May 4 reopening but is waiting for confirmation from State Parks, which controls and maintains six miles of Carlsbad's coastline.
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There are strict social distancing rules at the reopened beaches. People can walk, run, and do water activities, but they can't sit, lie down, or gather.
San Diego Lifeguard Chief James Gartland says so far, people have been following the rules, but they are preparing for higher numbers this weekend.
"You'll see more lifeguards, more police officers, we're here for safety but also education, and we have to keep people moving," Gartland said.
He also wants to remind people the county's new face-covering mandate will be in effect this weekend.
"If you're walking, you have to wear a mask," he said. "If you can run with a mask, we want you to wear a mask. It's anytime you're in public, and coming within 6-feet of everybody else, you need to have that facial-covering."
Governor Newsom closed down the beaches in Orange County, following problems with large crowds. Gartland says the concern now, is that those crowds could head south this weekend. But he says the parking issue should keep numbers controlled.
"There is a concern, but the parking is very limited, so once the beach hits a capacity, people just aren't going to be able to get in," he said.