Hottest day of the year gives seaside traders fresh hope
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020
Soaring temperatures have brought an influx of visitors to Suffolk this week, bringing a boost to coastal traders who feared their summer season would be ruined by coronavirus.
Temperatures topped 30C today beating the 29.5C recorded in Santon Downham on Tuesday and making it the hottest day of the year so far.
Beaches in Felixstowe, Southwold, Thorpeness and Aldeburgh have witnessed an influx in visitors, giving fresh hope to ice cream vendors and other coastal businesses who are keen to get back on their feet.
Mark Jepson, mayor of Felixstowe, said: “It has been incredibly busy in Felixstowe in the last few days.
“We welcome visitors and want people to support our small businesses, such as our cafes and restaurants.
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“I’m passionate about supporting small, local businesses to get them back on their feet.”
Elsewhere in the country, seaside resorts have been inundated with tourists - to the extent a major incident was declared in Bournemouth this afternoon. As beach car parks filled up and the beaches became ever busier there were calls for people to exercise caution, practise social distancing and remember the virus is still among us.
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Mr Jepson said people had been sensible in Felixstowe and added: “We want people to come and enjoy themselves, but it’s all about respecting social distancing. There’s still that risk of the virus.
“The majority of people are following the social distancing guidelines and staying apart.”
He also reminded visitors to clean up after themselves, saying: “Please be safe and make sure you take your rubbish home with you.”
On behalf of the Suffolk Resilience Forum, Stuart Keeble, Suffolk’s Director of Public Health, said:
“We have done a great job of slowing the spread of coronavirus in Suffolk, but it is still a real danger and we must use our common sense to stop it spreading again.
“I’m looking forward to being outside and enjoying the sunshine with my family. It’s good for our mental health and for supporting the local economy with more shops now open.
“However coronavirus has not gone away. If you go to a public place and it looks busy, find somewhere quieter to enjoy the weather. Keep washing your hands often. Keep social distancing, staying two metres away from those you don’t know. We don’t want to see outbreaks of the virus here, so stick with it Suffolk.”
Ian Bradbury, mayor of Southwold, said the recent warm weather represented the perfect opportunity for the town to “reopen” and reported that the town was busy today.
He said: “The message is we need you to support local businesses - they need your support to thrive.
“But please be careful. The pandemic is not over.”
He said people were being responsible on the beaches and in town and added: “Individual shops are now open, but customers have to make decisions and do their own risk assessment on whether they want to go in.”
And Maureen Jones, chairman of Aldringham-cum-Thorpe Parish Council, said the seaside resort of Thorpeness had been “very busy” this week.
She added: “I encourage people to come here. The businesses have had a tough time.
“People are starting to take bookings, which is a positive. But it’s only as long as people are careful.”