WITH Southend sizzling with high temperatures this weekend, a huge operation is underway to keep people safe.

Operation Heatwave brings together teams responsible for highways, parking, waste, parks, pier and foreshore, the police, CCTV and businesses to prevent and respond to the opportunities and challenges good weather often bring.

A raft of measures are in place to help visitors find available parking spaces, dispose of litter responsibly and keep everyone safe.

Kevin Robinson, councillor responsible for business, culture and tourism, said: “We want people to enjoy their time here and it is more important than ever that people can Visit Southend safely.

"When temperatures soar, visitor numbers follow suit, and so we have our usual plans in place to deal with an influx of visitors. We are also urging people to plan their trip at www.visitsouthend.co.uk, and familiarise themselves with some of the safety measures in place locally.

“We know the impact tourism has on our local traders, and so we hope everyone stays safe and enjoys their time in the glorious sunshine.

"We would also urge anyone visiting to respect the local area and environment. Please use the numerous bins provided, and if a bin is full, it will be emptied, but please take your rubbish home with you.”

Trevor Harp, councillor responsible for adult social care and health, said: “We know that many people will be planning a trip to the seaside, and so we ask that they visit safely.

"Coronavirus is still very much with us. Everyone needs to continue social distancing from people they don’t live with, washing their hands regularly, wear a face covering in our shops and supermarkets, and if they have Covid-19 symptoms, then please don’t visit - stay at home, isolate and get tested.

“We also ask that local businesses keep reviewing the measures and risk assessments they have in place too, which will help reduce the spread and keep them open.

“We have seven miles of wonderful blue flag and seaside award winning beaches, so please make use of that space and stay safe by staying apart.”

Visitors are also being reminded to check the tide timetable before entering the water or walking out to the mudflats.

The tide timetable for Southend is available on the Port of London Authority website.

Visit www.visitsouthend.co.uk.