A LEADING Southend GP has issued a desperate plea for people to protect loved ones by staying away from crowded places this weekend. 

As temperatures soar, there are fears of people heading to Southend seafront over the bank holiday weekend after lockdown measures eased. 

>> Think twice about visiting Southend seafront this weekend

This week, thousands have visited Southend beaches to take advantage of sunshine and warm weather. 

TV doc Dr Hilary Jones has criticised people for visiting, asking how the NHS would be able to trace anyone on the beach following a coronavirus case. 

Now, Dr Jose Garcia-Lobera - chair of Southend Clinical Commissioning Group - has issued a desperate plea for people to avoid crowded places to keep everyone safe. 

In a video, he said: "Some of the restrictions may have been lifted, but it is not over - far from it. 

"We may not be able to see it, but coronavirus is still in our community. 

"It is still in Southend - it is around us."

Issuing a direct plea for personal responsibility, Dr Garcia-Lobera said: "Please don't visit crowded places. 

"Please, if you go anywhere this weekend, stay 2m apart from anyone not in your household.

"Please, let's get this right."