THESE pictures show a packed Southend seafront on Bank Holiday Monday as council bosses confirm 'security guards' have been deployed to make sure visitors are keeping their distance. 

The recent surge in footfall will come as a major positive for businesses, despite some onlookers being critical.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

Government guidelines remain in place due to the coronavirus pandemic, but Martin Richardson - the Happidrome Arcade owner - insists Southend must ease back to normality.

>> Southend seafront packed but council boss 'pleased with the progress being made'

Mr Richardson said: “It was like a typical Sunday yesterday. It wasn’t overcrowded and the traffic was flowing.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

“This is the benchmark. The economy needs to get going and we can’t afford to be shut for too long.

“We are making sure what we are doing works. It’s about working together.

“This town survives on tourism.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

The safety of the public is the number one priority and we are looking after people coming here.”

The increased number of people visiting Southend, thanks in large part to the searing temperatures in recent days, has been met with criticism from some quarters of the community.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

Picture from Air Flight Drone Solutions 

>> Drone pictures show people ARE social distancing on busy Southend seafront

But seafront trader Paul Thompson stresses people need to return to the seafront in order to stop businesses going bust.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

“Everyone has been in lockdown for eight weeks and we’re hearing from government that the worst of the virus has passed,” said Mr Thompson.

“There have been no new Covid-19 cases in Southend for four or five days now and people are realising they are fine if they keep to the guidelines and two metres apart.

“We are looking to get our economy going again. It’s really important to get up and running.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

“Everyone is aware of the situation and social distancing. I haven’t seen many people not doing it and, on the whole, everyone is doing what they’ve been told to do by the government.”

Martin Terry, Cabinet Member for Community Safety & Customer Contact, confirmed there are security staff patrolling the beach.

He said: "We have redeployed council staff wearing hi-viz jackets. We have also got beach patrol from Chalkwell, safety officers and security officers as well."