Southend Pier to remain shut until July

Southend’s top tourist attraction is set to remain closed until at least July following fresh guidance from the Government.

The council has confirmed that Southend Pier is a ticketed attraction and will therefore not open until other leisure attractions such as cinemas and hotels are able to.

Government guidance suggests that this will not be until July 4 at the earliest but it could be pushed back further should the number of Covid-19 cases begin to rise.

Keeping the pier closed is likely to help the council to keep the number of people visiting Southend to a minimum, despite people now be allowed to visit beaches and sunbath.

The council’s Labour leader, Councillor Ian Gilbert, said this week he was not willing to rule out closing the seafront and public parks if there is a spike in visitors who do not adhere to social distancing guidance.

The pier has been closed since March 18 after the government introduced lockdown restrictions across the country.

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Steve Shaw

Local Democracy Reporter