As retail returns – please ‘Visit Southend Safely’ and plan ahead

April 8, 2021

A new campaign has been launched to encourage people to ‘Visit Southend Safely’ as the government confirmed lockdown restrictions can continue to ease on Monday 12 April with stage 2 of the government’s roadmap out of lockdown.

Pubs and restaurants serving outside can reopen from Monday 12 April along with all non-essential shops, gyms, hairdressers, nail salons and other personal care businesses.

Government advice remains to keep journeys to a minimum and work from home where possible.

Working together

Throughout the pandemic, Southend Business Improvement District (BID), councillors and officers from Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, Leigh Town Council, the seafront traders’ association, Essex Chambers of Commerce and other local businesses, have been working together to deal with the Government’s relaxation of lockdown measures and ensure that the Borough is a safe place to visit and shop.

The group is working hard to help our local economy bounce back stronger than ever and help businesses to reopen safely and keep residents safe too.

Local businesses have been provided with signage, poster templates and guidance, and hundreds of public signs are also being put up in shopping areas across the Borough.

In central Southend, shops will continue to provide hand sanitiser dispensers for shoppers and people will be encouraged to keep left.

In Leigh-on-Sea, a small number of parking bays are suspended in Broadway West outside the bakers, butchers and greengrocers to allow for social distancing whilst queuing.

Reopening businesses safely

Carl Robinson, Director of Public Protection, at Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, said: “Public safety is of paramount importance and the Council has engaged with businesses and stakeholders offering advice and considerations about reopening safely and responsibly. Guidance includes how to run a COVID-secure establishment such as risk assessments, use of face coverings, social distancing, one-way systems, number restrictions, use of electronic payment, pre-booking and test and trace information. A dedicated regulatory service email to provide advice for businesses who may have positive test results in their workforce is also in place.

“The safety advisory group (SAG) will also be working with event organisers to design COVID-secure events and liaise with them on any event applications.

“A team of six compliance ambassadors will continue work in the community and visit premises to check compliance and signpost to guidance. Ambassadors will always look to engage with non-compliant premises in the first instance, with enforcement being the last resort.”

Suzanne Gloyne, Southend BID manager, says: “We are really pleased to be able to welcome businesses and visitors back to the town after such a long period of restrictions. We want people to support their local High Streets by shopping and spending locally with the reassurance that businesses and representatives from across the borough have worked hard to provide a safe environment. Please ‘Visit Southend Safely’ by keeping your distance from others and respecting the measures that businesses have put in place as they are there to keep everyone safe.”

Jacqui Dallimore, Managing Director, Roslin Beach Hotel and Chairman of the Southend Tourism Partnership, said: “We have experience of reopening safely out of previous lockdowns and we know what is required to do this safely and successfully. Partnership members and the council have been working closely throughout the pandemic and I am very confident we can encourage and re-welcome visitors back to the town, local residents out to our venues, and help our businesses get back on track. To our customers old and new, we have missed you and are looking forward to seeing you again soon, safely.”

A guide for businesses that has been put together to help guide them through reopening is available at:

Posters, templates and signage is available for businesses to download at:

Plan ahead

It is strongly recommended that visitors plan ahead before leaving home. Pre-book accommodation if you are staying, and any activities you would like to do.

Restaurants: Many eateries will require you to make an advance online reservation with many temporary takeaway options also available.

We recommend that you contact businesses directly or visit their website to check their opening times and COVID-secure visiting arrangements. Look out for a “We’re Good to Go” certificate which is the official UK mark to signal that a tourism and hospitality business has worked hard to follow Government and industry COVID-19 guidelines and has a process in place to maintain cleanliness and aid social distancing.

Payment: Contactless payment is now common practice across Southend-on-Sea. If you wish to pay with cash, it’s advisable to check with the business before your purchase.

Follow Visit Southend’s Twitter account to discover the very best of Southend.


New parking fees came into effect on 1 April and all car parks and on-street parking will be chargeable. Visit our website for more information on car parking charges and the Southend Pass.

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