Police have been speaking to day-trippers who visited Southend over the weekend. 

Warm weather brought an influx of visitors to the seaside over the weekend despite officials telling people not to come.

There were long queues of traffic along the seafront as families decided to take advantage of the sunshine and temperatures of 15C.

Police teams were out at the weekend to engage with members of the public at the seafront and remind people about the rules.

It is understood they spoke to motorists who were driving into the town.  Southend Council had urged visitors to stay away from the area reminding people lockdown was still underway.

In a bid to try and ensure day-trippers did not drive to the seafront or other usually popular areas of the seaside town during restrictions, the council had prohibited parking in a number of roads last month.

But this did not seem to deter visitors over the weekend.

Many members of the public saw cars queuing all afternoon on Saturday in areas such as Chalkwell, Rochford, and Canvey Island.

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And Echo readers reacted strongly to the news.

One commenter said: “It was like the carnival parade had come early to Southend seaside the amount of people, walking, loitering, and just because they can.

“So sad. How the heck do they think it’s going to clear up?

“Stay At Home. Walk round you block, garden or your local park.”

Another said: “I was walking along seafront faster than the traffic was moving.

“The side streets around Chalkwell are rammed with cars.”

One said it was a ‘typically British’ reaction to flock to Southend when there was a bit of sun.

The council’s community safety boss Martin Terry added: “The lower we can keep positive rates, the safer we can keep our community and the quicker we will be able to react to any national announcements, get back to doing more of the things we most enjoy and welcome visitors back to Southend safely.”

Health and adult social care boss Trevor Harp added: “It is important to remember that we are still fighting this virus.

“Although positive case rates continue to fall locally, and the vaccine roll-out is going well nationally and locally, we must not drop our guard. So please stay safe, stay apart and stay local.”