CONFUSION surrounding Covid-19 restrictions is causing daytrippers to abandon plans to visit Southend, according to leading traders.

Hotels and businesses have seen a rise in cancellations and a fall in business as Essex steps into a second week of various restrictions for different areas.

Southend has remained in Tier 1 (Medium alert) as Essex moved in Tier 2 restrictions (High), but businesses fear this is stopping people travelling to the seaside town.

Garry Lowen, owner of Gleneagles Guesthouse in Southend, said: “We are seeing a drop in business, people in tier three are told not to travel and are not going to come to guesthouses or the seafront.

“The negatively puts people off coming and people feel they cannot go out and there’s a lot of misinformation out there about travel for people in tier two.

“It’s about people having the confidence to go from tier two to tier one and it does restrict trade.

“We’ve had a few cancellations and business is not what we would expect for half term and this time of year.

“I am getting concerned about the trade for the next few weeks and coming months.”

Mr Lowen fears it is not clear enough that people living in Tier 2 areas are allowed to travel to places in Tier 1.

Philip Miller, executive chairman of the Stockvale Group, which owns Adventure Island, also fears the restrictions are not clear and are putting visitors off.

He said: “Personally I think customers are totally confused at to who can do what.

“From experience the more layers of bureaucracy government puts on the worse it will get for those in any kind of business.

“Sometimes I get the feeling they will not be happy until the whole country is on the scrapheap which as every day passes is getting nearer.

“I think our council has been very astute by avoiding the mass hysteria that seems to have overtaken Essex County Council.”

Last weekend most parts of Essex went into the tier two under the new Government rating system about the spread of Covid-19 but Southend and Thurrock did not join the rest of the county.

It comes as Southend’s business owners face telling staff to ask for passports and photo IDs on entry to ensure out of area customers are part of the same bubble or household.