Visitors flock to coastal resorts despite social distancing advice

Felixstowe was one of several coastal resorts to experience high visitor numbers Picture: SARAH LUCY

Felixstowe was one of several coastal resorts to experience high visitor numbers Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Residents in Suffolk coastal resorts have reported seeing large crowds over the weekend - despite crucial government warnings for people to avoid social gatherings.

Crowds gather in Felixstowe, despite government warnings to protect against the spread of coronaviru

Crowds gather in Felixstowe, despite government warnings to protect against the spread of coronavirus Picture: ANNEMARIEKE VAN DEN ENDE - Credit: Archant

Queues of people have been seen in seaside towns such as Southwold, Aldeburgh and Felixstowe in the last few days, as visitors attempt to escape from the coronavirus crisis.

Prime minister Boris Johnson has repeatedly stressed the importance of people avoiding unnecessary contact with others to spread the virus, officially known as COVID-19.

But visitors have still been flocking to the Suffolk coast, prompting fears among some in the community that the virus could spread.

Nick Barber, mayor of Felixstowe, said he had seen pictures of people queuing for food and drink in the town in the last few days.

He said: “The town was very busy on Sunday - it was such a lovely, bright day.

“I have decided to close my store in Felixstowe as it’s the right thing to do. There’s still people who are carrying on but I don’t quite get it.

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“People have got to be responsible as we have a social and moral responsibilty. We need to stay at home as much as we can.

“The sooner we can keep ourselves away from each other the sooner it will all pass.”

MORE: Join our Facebook group for updates on coronavirus in Suffolk

All the stores in Aldeburgh’s high street have closed recently - but the town was still busy, according to town council clerk Ruth Proctor.

She said: “It was busier than expected to be given we are in a pandemic. We have all got a responsibility to do the right thing.”

Ian Bradbury, mayor of Southwold, had previously said second homeowners from London - the area in the UK with the most cases of COVID-19 - had been flocking to the seaside town in the last week.

He added: “The second homeowners see Southwold as something of a refuge, but it’s putting undue strain on our services.

“The advice is that you should be at your principal residence. The behaviour from some of them is despicable.

“There were more people here over the weekend than the rest of the year. It’s quite frightening.

“We’re all in this together.”

MORE: Fears visitors from London could speed virus spread

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