SOUTHEND Council leader Ian Gilbert has hit out at PM Boris Johnson's easing of lockdown, labelling his announcements "unhelpful". 

Asked if he thinks Mr Johnson should have waited until Sunday to announce changes to the rules on Monday, Ian Gilbert said: "Yes. I think, from our point of view, in terms of managing public spaces, absolutely.

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"Unfortunately I think the whole way that the debate has gone over the past week, with the business about (Number 10 aide Dominic) Cummings and what have you, has all unfortunately contributed to a general sense that lockdown is over."

Mr Gilbert said Southend attractions will remain closed over the weekend, and he urged people from outside the borough to "think twice" before visiting.

From Monday groups of up to six people will be able to meet outside, either in public parks or private gardens.