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‘Please stay away’ – MPs’ warning after thousands visit coast and holiday homes

PUBLISHED: 19:26 23 March 2020 | UPDATED: 19:26 23 March 2020

Clacton Pier from the air  Picture: TENDRING DISTRICT COUNCIL

Clacton Pier from the air Picture: TENDRING DISTRICT COUNCIL

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MPs are warning owners of second and holiday homes in Essex to stay away from our coastline as the coronavirus pandemic continues to infect thousands of people across the country.

Five politicians representing coastal communities have come together to issue the warning after the government strengthened its line on social distancing over the weekend.

It comes as scores of people flocked to popular Suffolk resorts such as Southwold, Aldeburgh and Felixstowe despite staunch warnings from Downing Street.

MORE: Visitors flock to coastal resorts despite social distancing advice

The group of MPs, which includes Harwich and north Essex MP Sir Bernard Jenkin and Clacton MP Giles Watling, issued a joint statement which warns: “If you do not live in Essex, please stay away.

“To save lives, please stay put.

“In normal times, you are welcome to come to the Essex coast but today we very much regret we cannot welcome you during this pandemic crisis.

MORE: Four more coronavirus cases confirmed in Suffolk

They added: “Travelling to a holiday or second home is an unnecessary journey, which will inevitably accelerate the spread of the virus.

“Traditional holiday home and caravan areas in Essex cannot support the usual holiday influx.

“Our GP surgeries have no capacity to take on patients who are not registered.

“Local pharmacies do not have sufficient supplies sell you medicines we need for our own communities.”

MORE: Smitten schoolteachers defy coronavirus odds and tie the knot

The MPs also warned about the increased pressure trips to the coast could put on our NHS.

“Our local hospitals will not cope with even more people,” they added.

“Our local shops will reserve supplies for local people and for those who need them most.

“Official government instructions are to remain in your own main home.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to address the nation with an update on the latest coronavirus measures at 8.30pm today.

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