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By Shawn Raymundo

After being closed for the past month, San Onofre State Park has been reopened to the public for active use, according to a state parks office update on Friday, May 8.

The California Department of Parks and Recreation advises that beachgoers can head back to the popular surf haven as long they “keep it moving,” meaning visitors have to be walking, jogging and swimming, among other approved activities.

Similar to the active-use restrictions several nearby coastal cities and the County of Orange have adopted, visitors won’t be allowed to sit or sunbathe at the state park, nor can they bring in “coolers, umbrellas, shade tents, barbecues or chairs.”

The parking lot to the state park will remain closed, a restriction that encourages primarily local residents to enter San Onofre by bike or on foot. Visitors are expected to maintain social distancing at the beach by keeping six feet apart, while gatherings, picnics and beach parties are prohibited.

“Visitors are being asked to leave if there are too many people at the beach or on the trails to allow for the required physical distance,” the parks department said.

The department closed San Onofre on April 7 amid ongoing efforts to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The reopening of the state park comes on the heels of the state lifting a targeted closure of Orange County’s beaches earlier this week, with the stipulation that the county and cities would be responsible for maintaining the active-use plan and keeping parking lots closed.

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