Tourists heed warnings to stay away from Suffolk coast on lockdown bank holiday
PUBLISHED: 15:42 25 May 2020 | UPDATED: 15:42 25 May 2020
Coastal communities breathed a sigh of relief as tourists appeared to heed warnings to act responsibly when visiting over the bank holiday weekend.
There had been growing fears that tourist attractions such as Southwold and Aldeburgh could become swamped with visitors due to the warm weather, even though the risk of transmitting coronavirus remains high.
East Suffolk Council leader Steve Gallant said ahead of the weekend: “Think very carefully about the logic of heading to tourist hotspots during busy times because there is no question that the health risk to you, your family and others will be increased.”
However, while some people visited resorts such as Felixstowe under the recently eased lockdown measures, there were not too many crowds at the resorts.
It is thought that high winds and colder temperatures could have put some people off a day at the seaside on Saturday and Sunday, although it was warmer on Monday.
David Beavan, Liberal Democrat councillor for Southwold and Reydon, said that while there were more people were about in the town, they all seemed to be obeying the social distancing guidelines.
He said: “It’s not too bad. There are more people around than there were but it’s not getting really packed on the high street and everyone seems to be behaving themselves.
“There are only one or two people on the beach and they’re all well apart. So at the moment it seems okay.
“After what has happened nationally I don’t really think you can lecture anybody about it now. It’s the old one rule for us, and one rule for them thing.”
Newly-appointed mayor of Felixstowe, Mark Jepson, said he still fears future problems.
“I fear people will come down in their droves,” he said.
“While they’re not breaching any of the government guidelines there are going to be more people down on the front than there ought to be for their own health and for the health of the community of Felixstowe.
“I’m not saying the front is solely for the people of Felixstowe but I feel for the residents of the town because there are people who can’t enjoy their own town because of the anticipated numbers of people down there.
“Like me, when it was nice weather last week, I avoided the front because I’m trying to be responsible.
“A lot of residents of Felixstowe, are going later on in the evening to reduce the numbers on the seafront.
“I would stress that I’m not saying people aren’t welcome in our town.
“Certainly last week, the people I saw social distancing down on the actual beach was pretty encouraging – but of course the promenade is not particularly wide and it doesn’t take much for it to seem busy.”