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Pass-A-Grille Beach open to locals only after parking lot fills to capacity

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said the area hit "100 percent" on the first day of beaches reopening across the county.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A big parking lot at a popular Pinellas County beach was shut down only hours after it opened on the first day as part of Florida's phase one reopening.

However, people who live in the area still can hit the shoreline at Pass-A-Grille Beach.

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri during a news conference Monday said the beach hit "100 percent," which forced deputies to close down the parking lot to the public. A view from Sky10 before 3 p.m. showed crowds of people still on the sand and in the water.

"We're going to have to have daily discussions about it," said Gualtieri, who said he'll be speaking with local government leaders to figure out the best way to manage crowds in the days to come.

Beaches up and down the Pinellas County coast are busy -- and it's only Monday, Gualtieri said. 

Signs posted at the beaches stress social distancing guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, meaning people must maintain 6 feet away from each other and groups of more than 10 are not allowed. 

RELATED: Pinellas County offers free coronavirus tests

RELATED: Here's what's reopening in Tampa Bay today

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