DAY trippers set to descend north Essex's beaches this bank holiday are being reminded there is little to do during their visit.

Under the Government’s Covid-19 guidance people are permitted to travel for exercise and to make use of open spaces, such as parks and beaches, for sunbathing and picnicking – as long as social distancing is maintained.

However attractions are not yet permitted to open, and although kiosks are allowed to serve on a takeaway basis along the Essex Sunshine Coast people must not congregate outside of them.

Neil Stock, Tendring Council leader, said it was vital people maintained social distancing and avoided crowded areas.

“I’m sure many people will be thinking of coming to the beaches at Clacton, Frinton, Walton, Brightlingsea or Dovercourt and enjoying the fantastic coastline we have in Tendring,” he said.

“We are allowed to do so, the Prime Minister has made it clear people can travel to sunbathe and exercise. These things are important for our mental health.

“But please remember if you’re coming to the Essex Sunshine Coast, or one of our parks and gardens, there’s nothing to do – nowhere to buy ice creams, you can’t sit down for a coffee or a beer.

"You can bring your own refreshments, but please use a bin or take your rubbish home with you.

“If people do not follow social distancing guidelines, then we risk another wave of Coronavirus and a return to lockdown, which I am sure nobody wants.

"You must Stay Alert to Save Lives, stay two metres apart from anyone not in your household, and regularly wash your hands."

If people do not follow social distancing guidelines, then we risk another wave of Coronavirus and a return to lockdown, which I am sure nobody wants.

Council car parks in the district are open, and drivers are encouraged to pay by phone or using the smartphone MiPermit app, rather than using the meters where possible to reduce contact with shared surfaces.

Tendring resident Anthony Longhurst criticised people for descending upon the beaches.

He said: "I have been walking regular in Frinton and Walton, as well as Clacton to Point Clear and what I have witnessed in the last week is a joke.

"The beaches are packed with day trippers, the roads are getting more congested.

"On Monday I had never encounter so many people at the Naze although they were keeping there distance.

"But in Clacton on Wednesday it was like a bank holiday.

"Groups of people, mingling together swimming, playing games.

"Really did they not understand the message or are they blind to the situation?"

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

  • Social distancing - people kept apart on Frinton Greensward on Wednesday

One Frinton residents said people had "flocked" to the resort on Wednesday and due to public toilets being closed people were reliving themselves in the bushes.

"It’s wonderful to see families enjoying the fresh air and a safe distance from each other," they said.

"But as toilets were not open - and rightly so as it would put a huge pressure on staff to clean every loo, tap, door handle after each sitting - tourists were peeing in bushes or the sea.

"Some are not even taking their rubbish home.

"There is no parking and the road has been very busy - we have noticed the taste of fumes in the air that has been absent until this week."

Clacton MP Giles Watling has criticised his own Government for easing lockdown restrictions, fearing people would "thoughtlessly" bring the virus to the district, risking the health of Tendring's elderly population.

He added: "If you can’t bring yourself to stay away, and I quite understand - it is beautiful here on the Sunshine Coast - come as a self contained unit.

"Take your rubbish home. Keep your distance and stay safe."

It is understood that some public toilets on the seafront were set to reopen on Friday.