THOSE visiting Southend from other areas of Essex will have to abide by stricter rules, it has been confirmed.

Visitors to Southend from the likes of Basildon and Rochford from Saturday morning won't be able to visit bars and restaurants indoors, unless they are in a bubble or from the same household.

Businesses have been asked by Southend Council to "endeavour" to enforce the new restrictions, with owners now set to ask customers where they have come from.

Venues across the seafront town received advice overnight from the council.

The Echo understands Southend Council held talks with Essex Police and "other partners" last night to clarify on how businesses enforce the new Tier system.

Business owners fear staff will be told to ask customers to provide passports or photo ID.


In an email sent to businesses, which the Echo has seen, the advice reads: "We have had a lot of calls and messages today with regard to the fact that Essex has moved to the High alert level and questioning if clients from Essex will be able to mix  under the rule of 6 inside Southend hospitality establishments.

"In response, anyone from a tier 2 or tier 3 area must abide by the rules of that tier regardless of their location.

"Therefore, tier 2 or tier 3 visitors to Southend can only socialise inside with people from their own household/bubble.

"Businesses should endeavour to ensure this law is adhered to when they take bookings or on entry."

This comes as Alison Griffon, the chief executive of Southend Council, was forced to clarify the situation to councillors after she first told Steven Aylen those coming into Southend's bars and restaurants WON'T have to abide by higher restrictions.

However in a later email she corrected, and said "I should have said that the High risk restrictions would apply to those visiting Southend from a tier 2 area but they can visit ‘open amenities’ in Southend.

"I hope that clarifies the position. Apologies for the confusion I have caused."