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Manhattan Beach Mayor Says Taking Education-First Approach With Beachgoers Is Working

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Manhattan Beach on the first day Los Angeles County allowed beaches to reopen after a six-week closure. (Mark Ralston/AFP via Getty Images)
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This is the first weekend in months that Los Angeles County beaches are open for active use such as swimming, surfing and walking.

Aerial images of Santa Monica and Venice beaches show some people breaking the rules by sitting or sunbathing.

The good news is that many of the rulebreakers appear to be following another mandate: to keep a healthy distance from one another.

Manhattan Beach Mayor Richard Montgomery told us beachgoers respected social distancing, even if they took a seat on the sand:

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"We took the approach moreso that we don't want to see any tents. We don't want to see clumps of people together. And anybody that did that, we let them know it wasn't permissible. Most everybody was fine with it."

Montgomery says lifeguards and police reported good responses from their education-first strategy, especially for out-of-town visitors.

"We don't want to see the issue of Orange County where we're shut down," Montgomery said. "I think more people are cognizant about it now, and they don't want to be shut down either."

Montgomery hopes this weekend's success is a positive sign for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend.

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