An important reminder: Don’t Visit Southend! Stay away, stay home, save lives

April 9, 2020

The council is reminding visitors to stay away from the seaside again as Easter weekend approaches.

In addition to the ongoing Don’t Visit Southend campaign, the council’s seafront car parks remain closed, parking in seafront bays from Leigh to Shoeburyness remains banned, and a traffic order enabling the road to be closed if necessary remains in force. Further parking bays in Shoeburyness have also been suspended. (Promenade Road, Ness Road, George Street, High Street (Shoebury), Dane Street and Rampart Street)

The Cinder Path, which runs along the seafront from Chalkwell Train Station to Old Leigh, will also be closed this weekend. The path is very narrow and so the decision has been made to close it. The council will also continue to monitor all areas of the borough and if any problems arise with social gatherings, we will work with relevant partners and take appropriate action to protect the general public. As happened last weekend, the council’s community safety officers and parking enforcement officers from APCOA will be working hard with the police to keep people safe and well across the Borough.

A series of targeted social media adverts have also been running since last week asking people thinking of visiting to stay at home to save lives and local residents will be encouraged to share their #StayHome selfies too instead of seafront selfies. The borough’s variable message signs are also displaying text to discourage drivers and visitors.

Cllr Ian Gilbert, leader of the council, says: “Last weekend we were pleased to see that most people stayed away from Southend-on-Sea and the campaign and parking measures introduced were effective. But we cannot be complacent and the message for Easter is the same.

“Don’t visit Southend. Stay away, stay home and save lives. Visitors are not welcome to Southend at this time. We will still be here when this is all over and we look forward to seeing you then. I would also urge residents to only exercise locally and only visit the seafront if they live in close proximity.”

Cllr Kevin Robinson, cabinet member for business, leisure and tourism says: “This really is a reminder that at the moment our seafront is closed for business. Please Don’t Visit Southend, please come and see us when we are all through this when we will very much be open for business once again.”

James Duddridge, MP for Rochford and Southend East, says: “In usual times you would be very welcome to visit Southend over a Bank Holiday weekend, but not during this national emergency. Anyone can catch coronavirus and anyone can spread it, so please stay at home and don’t visit Southend. The more people follow these rules, the quicker we will be able to beat coronavirus and return to a level of normality.”