By Anna Meiler

BOSTON (CBS) – Wednesday will be the warmest day of the year so far, which means it could be the biggest test for beaches and how well people practice social distancing on the sand.

One South Boston family was out at Carson Beach early in the morning searching for crabs.

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“We’re just out here social distancing on the beach with our family,” Sally Howard said.

Howard and her two kids were wearing face masks and said they planned their beach trip early in the day to avoid potential crowds.

“It’s a beautiful day. We try to come out early,” she said. “We’ll leave by 12 or 12:30 when it starts to get busier.”

Beaches opened Monday as part of “Phase 1” with a number of safety guidelines in place:

In Hull, people turned out to enjoy the sunshine.

“It’s nice the nice weather is coming in because I think it’s making a difference for everyone. I feel like everyone’s a little bit happier,” said Quincy resident Marissa McGue.

And people were taking warnings seriously, keeping their distance and carrying masks with them in case they couldn’t.

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“Everybody’s been social distancing. I have my mask ready in case I’m not 6 feet apart from anyone,” said Hull resident Erica.

Joanne Bradbury came early with her grandchildren to take advantage of low tide – when there’s more space on the beach.

“You can see that it’s clusters of people, like families, but nobody’s really on top of you or anything,” she said.

Dr. Paul Sax, Clinical Director of Infectious Disease at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, says people should feel safe going to the beach – as long as they take precautions.

“It does appear that outdoor activities are way safer than indoor activities, so we can say that outdoors is safe and outdoors is good -provided that people maintain the same social distancing that they did previously,” Dr. Sax said. “I recommend that people on the beach stay with their cluster of household contacts usually their family.”

The warm weather is also bringing a lot of people outside for walks and runs.

“A lot of people are concerned about exercise and exercise-related breathing. That really is not how were seeing this spread,” Dr. Sax said. “Someone running past you in the street is not the situation people are going to contract this infection. We’re much more concerned about indoor activities, crowded situations not very brief contact with someone as they jog by.”

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DCR is starting to reopen beach parking lots with input from individual towns. In Revere and Boston, the parking lots will stay closed for now. Officials say these are the areas where they tend to see bigger crowds.

Anna Meiler