PEOPLE are again being urged not to take to Tendring and Mersea beaches over the bank holiday weekend.

Tendring Council and Essex Police issued an appeal to residents during the good weather last weekend not to go to beaches including in Clacton, Frinton, Walton, Dovercourt and Brightlingsea, in a bid to stop the spread of Covid-19.

The public was praised for heeding the advice and seafront areas were largely deserted except for those undertaking exercise.

Council bosses are again asking people not to be tempted to break social distancing guidelines over the Easter weekend.

The guidelines state although people can take an hour’s exercise each day, they should do this close to their homes and not drive any more than a short distance.

Similarly people should not travel to holiday parks, which are predominantly closed, except for a small number of people who are permitted to stay.

Neil Stock, Tendring Council leader, reminded everyone that the advice remained in place until further notice.

“Once again thank you to all those who listened to the message last weekend,” he said.

“For those people who thought it did not apply to them, let me be clear – it does. Unless you are taking up to an hour of daily exercise, travelling for work, or going out to get essential supplies, then you should Stay Home and Save Lives.

“We can’t wait to welcome residents and visitors to our beautiful coastline and parks when the Coronavirus pandemic has passed, but the immediate need is for people to maintain social distancing.”

The council's beach patrol, which would usually cover some beaches during the Easter holidays, has been stood down for the time being.

Chief Insp Lily Benbow, Tendring district commander for Essex Police, praised the area’s community spirit and reminded residents the message applied to homes as well as public spaces.

“We were pleased at how well people responded last weekend, and during the week, and we are thankful to all those who have stayed away,” she said.

“I want to remind people that social distancing is not just about staying at home but only having essential contact with people – for medical appointments or essential shopping. Exercise should be alone or with members of your immediate household.

“Social distancing applies in the family home; if you were planning an extended family barbecue over the Easter weekend please don’t, but use virtual ways to stay in touch.

“Where we have to, as a last resort, we will enforce these measures, but we know the majority of residents want to – and are – doing the right thing, to protect the NHS and ultimately save lives.

“It is difficult, but together we can get through this and hopefully soon be able to enjoy our fantastic coastline once the Government restrictions are lifted.”