MAJOR events in Southend this autumn will “almost certainly contribute” to a spike in Covid cases, public health bosses fear.

Southend will see huge fireworks displays held this autumn, alongside a Day of the Dead style Halloween event.

Large crowds will descend onto the seafront for the outdoor events.

However, Krishna Ramkhelawon, director of public health for Southend, has warned of a spike in Covid cases as a result of the events, which were cancelled last year.

The events could be cancelled, if cases go “through the roof” before they are due to to take place.


He said: “We are trying to encourage social distancing as much as possible.

“All the events are getting the same advice.

“I’ve been pushing the hands, face, and space messaging again, it was good messaging last winter.

“We’ve reissued the posters to the event organisers for them to use.

“We haven’t asked for any restrictions to be put in place for the events.

“If they’re outside events, I don’t see why people need to wear masks if they’re outside, but if it’s overly crowded then there needs to be a balance.

“People need to do the right thing.

“I think it’s very likely that we will see a spike around Halloween, with the event, and people will have parties too.

“Hopefully the rate of vaccination will reduce that.

“We expected the rates to be well below where we are now.

“I would say to people to watch at a distance if you can.

“There is still positivity about the events and how Covid will impact them.

“We could take a view where we need to consult with each other.

“We could step in and advise them not to run them.”

The hugely popular fireworks event will return from October 2 each Saturday until December 4 from 7.30pm.

It’s been put on thanks to cash from the Government’s Welcome Back Fund.

The so-called Day of the Dead parade will see bright colours and street performers across the seafront, with the carnival procession is set to proceed in a westerly direction from the Gasworks Car Park, before continuing from Eastern Esplanade into Marine Parade and then onto Western Esplanade.

Celebrations will then disperse on Western Esplanade in the vicinity of Oyster Creek Kitchen at 8pm.

From 4pm on the day of the festival, barriers will line the route from the Gasworks Car Park to Western Esplanade.