COUNCIL bosses want to send out the message that Tendring's resorts are open for business... after a Government warning that beaches could be closed if social distancing measures are ignored.

Thousands flocked to coast on the hottest day of the year on Thursday although people mostly respected social distancing measures in Clacton, Frinton and Walton.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the Government had the power to close public areas and beaches if people flout safety restrictions, as was seen in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, which declared a major incidents after services were "completely overstretched" with huge numbers of visitors.

It is understood that although beaches in Tendring were busy on Wednesday and Thursday, there were "no issues" for local authorities.

Tendring Council leader Neil Stock said the situation was not as bad on beaches as it appeared to be in pictures captured by long-lens photography.

He said: “We are faced with great uncertainty going forward and that will have an impact on people’s lives and health.

“It was never the intention to eliminate Covid-19 completely. It was always about flattening the curve to protect the NHS and that has succeeded.

“People are increasingly fed up and bored – it has been a very restrictive way of living.

“I’m keen that here in Tendring we send out the right message to entrepreneurs - all about getting back to business.

“We want people to come to our beaches in Tendring, use car parks, buy ice cream and spend some money and boost our economy, obviously within the constraints of restrictions.

“But we can’t ignore the economy, which is vital to the recovery of the country.”

Chief medical officer for England Professor Chris Whitty has urged people to follow social distancing rules in the hot weather or risk causing a spike in coronavirus.

He said: "Covid-19 has gone down due to the efforts of everyone but is still in general circulation.

"If we do not follow social distancing guidance then cases will rise again.

"Naturally people will want to enjoy the sun but we need to do so in a way that is safe for all."

In an interview with TalkRadio, Mr Hancock said he was "reluctant" to go down the route of shutting public spaces as "people have had a pretty tough lockdown".

But he added that if there was a spike in the number of coronavirus cases "then we will take action".

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole council said extra police patrols had to be brought in following the "irresponsible" behaviour of crowds who gridlocked roads, dumped rubbish, abused refuse collectors and parked illegally.