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ENCINITAS, Calif. — Lifeguards took to a new task over the weekend, reminding residents they need to adhere to public health guidelines when they visit North County beaches. 

One problem area: Encinitas announced the reopening of beach access staircases — passageways that are too small and don’t meet the 6-foot requirement for social distancing. The city is willing to leave the stairs open, but leaders say it makes wearing face masks all the more important.

Once people are on the sand, “there is no sitting, hanging out in a chair with an umbrella, you have to keep it moving,” Lifeguard Capt. Larry Giles explained. People are still able to jog or walk on the beach and participate in water activities, such as swimming and surfing. 
Since reopening, Giles said lifeguards have seen consistent, above-average crowds at Moonlight State Beach. His team has been making sure people follow the orders, but he said ultimately he needs the public’s help in order to keep beach open.

“We’re doing a lot of education, putting out a lot of signage,” Giles said. “Wearing a mask is required if you’re on the beach because so many people visit.” 

Lifeguards have only needed to issue reminders so far — no citations had been recorded as of Sunday afternoon.