Beachgoers face sand, surf, social distancing

Restrictions vary, so plan ahead and take your face mask

SAN ANTONIO – At beaches along the Texas coast and across the country, surf’s up and so are restrictions. Rules vary from one location to another, so plan ahead.

For example, at South Padre Island, city beaches are open but gatherings are limited to 10 people. And, leave the shade tent at home. Only single-pole umbrellas are allowed, and there’s a two-chair limit per umbrellas. Beach setups have to be spaced at least 15 feet apart.

As for face coverings, take one along to any beach. If you’re set up at least six feet from anyone not in your party, you may be able to remove masks.

“If you decide to go for a walk or anywhere you might come in close proximity to other people, always put the mask back on,” said Consumer Reports’ Health Editor Trisha Calvo.

Going to the beach? Scope out the crowds early with these live videos

If you go for a swim, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises you remove face coverings because it’s difficult to breathe when they’re wet. However, it’s important to keep social distance out in the water, too.

Plan ahead for food and bathrooms. At some beaches, concession stands and public toilets and showers may be off limits.

“If the parking lot or the beach look crowded, and you don’t think you’ll be able to stay at least six feet from people, it’s probably a good idea to turn around and go home,” Calvo said.

There is a way to see beach conditions and crowds before you go. Live webcams provide a glimpse at several beaches around Texas and the country.

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