FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding pandemic-related beach restrictions.
This page was last updated July 19, 2021.
Yes! Beaches are open during their normal operating hours. Almost every activity is permitted, including sunbathing, biking, fishing and beach volleyball. Some events and larger gatherings may be allowed with the proper permits. Bonfires on the beach are illegal outside of the designated fire pits at Dockweiler State Beach. Regardless of vaccination status, masks are only required when you’re inside, including in the restrooms.
You can do normal beach things! You’re free to play in the sand, swim, take up shore fishing, play volleyball, bike the Marvin Braude Bike Trail, surf, sunbathe, set up a canopy, relax in a beach chair, bring a cooler and have a picnic, visit most piers, and more. What you’re not allowed to do: host a big party without a permit.
Try to prevent yourself and your household from spreading germs. Don’t share food or drinks with people outside your household, and don’t share toys and sports equipment with others. Definitely don’t share your snorkel! Otherwise, practice good hand hygiene—wash your hands or use hand sanitizer often, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Masks are required in the restrooms, regardless of your vaccination status. You should probably pack some hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol in your beach bag along with water, snacks, sunscreen, wipes, face mask and towel.
Yes, the fire pits are back! And, no, you can’t bring your own. Some of the fire pits have been returned to Dockweiler State Beach, where they are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Grills are permitted if they fit within the designated fire pits. You cannot place a grill directly on the sand.
Personal fire pits or grills placed outside of designated fire pits are never allowed on Los Angeles County beaches or in beach parking lots. Bonfires built directly on the sand are illegal and hazardous to other beachgoers.
Only in the restrooms. Regardless of your vaccination status, masks are required indoors unless you are eating or drinking.
Masks are not required outside.
Yes! Just make sure to keep at least 6 feet of space between you and anyone who is not part of your household (even in the water). Please don’t share snorkels or mouthpieces.
Beach camps, including surf camps, are permitted to open as long as they have the appropriate permits or licenses and follow the reopening guidelines provided by the Department of Public Health. For more information about a specific camp, please contact the camp operator.
Most beach restrooms are open; however, some restrooms at Redondo Beach and the Point Dume/Zuma Beach area in Malibu remain closed for repairs. We hope to open them soon. Please note that face masks are required when you are inside the restrooms, regardless of your vaccination status.
Yes! Lifeguards are on the beach and in the towers. Please note that all towers may not be staffed at all times. Staffing decisions are up to the Los Angeles County lifeguards, who are part of the Los Angeles County Fire Department, and can be affected by the season, day of the week and even the weather.
Remember, always surf or swim near an open lifeguard tower!
Many beach parking lots are open. All parking lots operated by the Department of Beaches and Harbors are open.
Check beach parking lot status:
If you are looking for information on a parking lot not included on the maps above, please contact the parking lot’s operator for assistance.
If you plan to park on the street, please check with the local city or municipality that has jurisdiction over the specific beach you plan to visit, as each community may have different rules for street parking. If you find street parking, remember to follow any posted parking restrictions.
All accessways maintained by the Department of Beaches and Harbors are open to the public. Please note that the Department of Beaches and Harbors does not maintain all beach accessways in Malibu. Some are maintained by the City of Malibu, the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority or California State Parks. Questions about those accessways should be addressed to their respective entity.
The Dockweiler State Beach Low Cost Parking Program, which allowed the first 300 visitors to pay a discounted parking rate, has been suspended. Unfortunately, the Department of Beaches and Harbors can no longer afford to subsidize parking fees at Dockweiler State Beach, as revenue from the parking lots helps offset the costs of beach maintenance services.
We do not know when the program will return.
The first weekend of the Health Officer’s Order, tens of thousands of people flocked to L.A. County beaches. These crowds and group gatherings were in violation of the order. As a result, the Department of Public Health elected on March 27, 2020, to amend the order to close all the beaches in its jurisdiction. The beaches reopened with another amendment to the Health Officer’s Order on May 13, 2020.
The beaches were closed again over Fourth of July weekend (starting Friday, July 3, 2020, at 12:01 a.m.) due to concerns about excessive crowds. The beaches reopened that Monday at 5 a.m.
We don’t know. While the Department of Beaches and Harbors and cities can often offer operational input into public health issues affecting the beaches, any restrictions or changes in status are, in most cases, ultimately up to the Department of Public Health.