OUR seaside towns in Essex have a long history of welcoming visitors and holidaymakers with open arms.

But our area has a high proportion of elderly people, who are more susceptible to the the vile Coronavirus.

Government advice is that people can now travel by car to exercise and to meet a relative outside, while maintaining social distancing.

Clacton MP Giles Watling has appealed for people to still “stay away” from the coast and has criticised his own Government for not thinking about the impact in areas with vulnerable populations.

He fears people could "thoughtlessly" bring the virus into our area, which could have a disproportionately devastating effect on our elderly.

Despite this, Tendring Council has decided to reopen car parks in line with plans to bring the country out of lockdown, although they've stopped short at reopening public loos for now.

The car parks had been closed to discourage people from travelling to seafronts for exercise and bringing the virus to the district.

At this time, we would appeal for people not to travel to our resorts and to leave the beaches to nearby residents for exercise.

The Government must also do whatever it can, including further grants, to support the tourism industry, on which our towns depend.

Our tourist economy is the lifeblood of our Sunshine Coast and we will gladly welcome visitors back again - once the threat to our most vulnerable residents has passed.