Fears more Christmas visitors will flock to coast despite Covid

Aldeburgh High Street

More people have been seen in Aldeburgh, according to residents

Fears have grown in Suffolk's coastal towns that second homeowners will arrive to avoid harsher coronavirus restrictions ahead of Christmas.

Resorts such as Southwold and Aldeburgh, which are both popular second home destinations for Londoners, have both experienced a rise in visitor numbers over the last few days.

Southwold mayor Ian Bradbury said on Sunday the town was "rammed", after more people arrived with less than a week to go until Christmas.

Many parts of the south-east of England, including London, have been placed under strict new Tier 4 measures in a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus amid rising infection rates.

A new strain of Covid-19, called VUI-202012/01, was also found to be spreading among the community.

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The strain has also been identified in Ipswich.

Tier 4 rules, which came into effect on Sunday morning, do not permit travel to another area unless it is for essential reasons, such as work or in an emergency.

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The Christmas Day rules on social gathering have also been tightened to prevent households from mixing, with the exception of support bubbles.

After the announcement on Saturday afternoon, images from London railway stations showed crowds of people queuing to flee the capital before the new rules came into force at midnight.

Earlier in the pandemic, concerns had been raised of people travelling from London to the Suffolk coast - potentially bringing the virus with them.

David Beavan, town and district councillor for Southwold, said the town had become "a little bit" busier on Monday morning.

Southwold councillor David Beavan, said "we must work together" and follow the new lockdown rules to help combat the...

David Beavan, town and district councillor for Southwold - Credit: Archant

He added: "The people are here, but there's not a lot we can do about it. We've been bashing our heads against the wall.

"All we can say is we appreciate the people who are not coming here.

"Hopefully people will use their common sense."

Susie Medland, who runs the Munchies cafe in Aldeburgh's High Street, said the town was "definitely" busier on Sunday - but was not sure if this was due to an influx of second homeowners.

Susie Medland of Munchies, Aldeburgh said the summer was good but she fears for the winter season P

Susie Medland, owner of Munchies in Aldeburgh - Credit: Charlotte Bond

She said: "It's just generally busier. There was a flow of traffic coming into the town after the announcement.

"Saturday was dead but Sunday was insane. But you just can't tell if they are second homeowners."

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