BEACH HUT owners are being advised not to breach social distancing guidelines by letting visitors inside their huts… or they could face enforcement action.

Beach hut owners and associations had been calling for advice on when people would be allowed to return to huts along the Tendring coastline.

Tendring Council had already reopened its car parks in line with plans to bring the country out of lockdown, but public loos have remained closed for now.

Car parks had been closed to discourage people from travelling to parks or seafronts for exercise.

Government guidelines now allow people to drive for exercise, or to use public open space individually or in household groups.

Beach hut owners have been advised to maintain social distancing.

The council said: “If you are considering using beach huts following the revised Government guidance issued on May 11 in relation to Covid-19, you must ensure the following points are adhered to.

“Any use of beach huts must comply with social distancing rules and Government guidance to only mix with those from your own household.

“A minimum of two metres distance between you and other beach hut owners and/or seafront users must be maintained at all times.

“Promenades and pathways must not be obstructed with seating or equipment and a minimum of two metres clearance must be maintained to ensure the promenade can still be used.

“Please be reminded that there are enforcement powers which could be used against those who do not comply with social distancing measures.”

Melanie Whitehead, chairman of the Beach Hut Owners Association of Walton, advised its members that visitors must not be inside their beach huts.

She added: “We must also respect the concerns of local residents that the coastal towns will be flooded with visitors making it difficult to maintain safe social distance on the promenades and beaches.

“I am sure it is possible to safely enjoy our huts, but we must all be extra considerate of our neighbours and other seafront users.”

Seafront kiosks reported they have been given the go-ahead to reopen, along with strict guidance that can supply takeaway food only and not put out chairs or tables.