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‘Second homes out of bounds for overnight stays’: coastal areas fear influx after lockdown changes

PUBLISHED: 17:09 14 May 2020 | UPDATED: 17:09 14 May 2020

Felixstowe beach on day one of the reduced lockdown rules  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Felixstowe beach on day one of the reduced lockdown rules Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Archant

Second-home owners in seaside resorts have been warned that their Suffolk properties remain “out of bounds” for overnight stays - amid fears the relaxation of lockdown restrictions will cause an influx of visitors to the coast.

The beachfront is a popular tourist destination - and there are fears crowds could flock there this weekend Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNThe beachfront is a popular tourist destination - and there are fears crowds could flock there this weekend Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

East Suffolk Council leader Steve Gallant said it was “entirely reasonable for the government to allow people a little more flexibility in what they can and can’t do”.

Prime minister Boris Johnson relaxed restrictions from Wednesday this week so that people could go out to do unlimited exercise, sunbathe outside and travel further afield - provided they remain socially distanced from others at all times.

However, government guidance says leaving your home to stay at another location - including holiday and second homes - is not permitted.

Mr Gallant said it was “entirely understandable that some local destinations will be worried about influxes”.

Charlie, Mark, Lisa and Noah had fish and chips on the seafront on Wednesday Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNCharlie, Mark, Lisa and Noah had fish and chips on the seafront on Wednesday Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

He added: “I hope that people will think very carefully about any plans they make for travelling and visiting in East Suffolk.

“Second homes remain ‘out of bounds’ for overnight stays of course but with further good weather forecast over the next few days, I would be concerned if large numbers of people descended on our coastal and resort destinations and this is where common sense and caution is really important.”

Southwold councillor David Beavan said that the town was already getting busier.

“I think Steve Gallant is right to be cautious,” he said.

Second home owners are being urged not to try and relocate to Suffolk this weekend Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNSecond home owners are being urged not to try and relocate to Suffolk this weekend Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“We are worried about the number of people who will come.

“The High Street needs to be pedestrianised between 10am and 6pm, otherwise people won’t be able to keep apart with all the cars.”

Mr Beavan said more time will be needed to carry out measures to better allow social distancing to take place, including one-way systems and extra cleaning.

“The problem is if we get crowds, then you are going to get contamination,” said Mr Beavan.

“We are an elderly population.”

MORE: More people head to parks for exercise as lockdown restrictions relaxed


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