An MP is urging the public to avoid Southend’s seafront this weekend and follow the government’s instruction to stay home.
The caution comes after large crowds descended on the promenade last week, despite repeated warnings of the risk of coronavirus spreading.
James Duddridge, MP for Rochford and Southend East, is reminding residents there is only a very limited set of circumstances in which people can leave their home.
These include shopping for basic necessitates, for one form of exercise, for any medical need and travel to and from work, but crucially, only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.
Mr Duddridge said: “At the start of this week, my inbox was inundated with responsible residents who were staying at home themselves, but rightly furious at the pictures circulating on social media of a packed Southend seafront.
“My message to those thinking of visiting Southend seafront this weekend is very clear – stay at home!
“We all have a responsibility to follow the government’s instruction as this will protect our NHS and save lives. If you want to go outside to exercise, my advice would be to do this within walking distance of your own home, which is likely to be quieter.”
People are also being urged to act responsibly and follow social distancing rules by keeping 2 metres apart from others when they do leave the house.
Where people are not following these rules, the police will be able to enforce them. For instance, they will disperse groups of people gathering outside, and could use fines in such scenarios.
Full guidance and the latest official information can be found at gov.uk/coronavirus.