With the half term holidays fast approaching, the council is urging residents to follow national guidance and stay safe, stay apart and stay local as we continue to fight the Coronavirus pandemic.
With seafront car parks remaining closed at this time, the council is also reminding potential visitors not to visit to ensure the national rules are followed and to keep our residents safe.
A ‘Stay Safe, Stay Apart, Stay Local’ social media campaign will support these key messages throughout half-term.
Cllr Trevor Harp, cabinet member for health and adult social care, says: “During half-term local residents and families will of course want to get out, whether it’s visiting their local park or open space for exercise or to do an essential shop for example, but it is important to remember that we are still fighting this virus and it is important that we continue to follow national guidance and remain safe.
“Outdoors, this means to keep at least 2 metres apart from anyone you don’t live with or who isn’t in your support bubble, and not mixing with other households indoors. Please also stay local. We all need to do our bit to stop the spread and control coronavirus and save lives.
“Whether you are out running, walking with the family, or cycling, please stay safe and stay apart. Please also make sure you are regularly and properly washing or sanitising your hands when out, and when you return home too. Although positive case rates continue to fall locally, and the vaccine roll-out is going well nationally and locally, we must not drop our guard.”
National lockdown rules mean you must not leave your home unless you have a reasonable excuse, if you need to travel you should stay local and you should reduce the number of journeys you make overall, and so the council is continuing to ask visitors to avoid visiting the Borough at this time.
Cllr Martin Terry, cabinet member for community safety, says: “My message to anyone who is considering visiting the Borough at half-term is please don’t visit Southend just yet. Please leave it for our locals just a little longer. An influx of visitors especially over the half-term period will make social distancing that much more difficult.
“Please also remember that the police can take action against you if you flout the rules and meet in larger groups. This includes breaking up illegal gatherings and issuing fines (fixed penalty notices) of £200 for the first offence, doubling for further offences up to a maximum of £6,400.
“Physical distancing and ensuring people stay safe and well by staying apart is now a fact of life. That is why we continue to urge people to be sensible and take individual personal responsibility to keep their distance from those they don’t live with and not mix indoors with other households. So please stay safe, stay apart and stay local.”