By CBSLA Staff

AVALON (CBSLA) — Catalina Island is reopening this weekend just in time for the long President’s Day holiday and Valentine’s Day.

With Los Angeles County’s restaurants cleared to reopen dining outdoors, Catalina Island is clearing the way for tourists to the island, which is just 22 miles off the coast. Social distancing and face covering guidelines are in effect as they are through the rest of Los Angeles County.

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(credit: Catalina Island and Catalina Island Express)

Most visitors get to the island via Catalina Express, which is operating at reduced capacity to allow social distancing. In addition to its daily passenger service from Long Beach to Avalon, Catalina Express is launching weekend service Friday from Dana Point to Avalon and from San Pedro to both Two Harbors and Avalon. Reservations are recommended, and passengers and employees are required to wear face masks at all times while in the terminal, waiting to board and on the vessel.

Winter is already the slow season for the island, and it is also just now coming out from under the regional stay-at-home order, so several of the island’s hotels are offering deals that include transportation from the mainland. But camping is also popular on Catalina Island, and its trails and campgrounds – including Hermit Gulch in Avalon, Two Harbors, and campsites at Parsons Landing, Little Harbor and Black Jack — will also open Friday.

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However, visiting Catalina Island during the ongoing pandemic will not be business as usual.

Face masks will be enforced by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and noncompliance could turn into a $100 ticket. Chairs, canopies and coolers are not allowed on the beaches, and neither are group sports, gatherings or events.

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For a full list of what’s open and new safety guidelines, visit LoveCatalina.com.