DAYTRIPPERS from across Essex are now allowed to travel to Southend’s beaches without fear of being fined, it has been revealed.

Under the “stay local” guidelines, families are supposed to stay within their community, but health bosses have now confirmed tourists from across the county can visit the seaside.

The seafront has already seen a spike in visitors since draconian lockdown measures were eased on Monday.

Krisha Ramkhelawon, the director of public health in Southend, told businesses yesterday: “The stay local rules aren’t nationally defined.

“Stay as close to your community but it’s okay to take occasional trips slightly further afield.

“People living in Basildon or Chelmsford may travel to Southend beaches.”


Earlier this year, parking fine appeals revealed visitors had previously travelled to Southend seafront from as far as Birmingham and Shrewsbury.

Trevor Harp, councillor in charge of health and social care, fears visitors will once again travel from similar distances, as the seafront has already seen a rise in visitors.

He said: “Without putting roadblocks on Southend’s boundaries, there isn’t much we can do.

“It becomes awkward when we try and enforce it.

“People want to come to Southend, and that’s great for our traders.

“But we need people to be sensible.

“It really relies on people using common sense.

“Unfortunately stay local hasn’t been defined, and that’s part of the problem.”

Council bosses in Basildon say they remain confused by the rules and think residents will also be asking questions.

Kerry Smith, deputy leader of Basildon Council, urged the Government to improve the clarity of its messaging.

He added: “Is Clacton too far to go? Who knows.

“The messaging has been muddled throughout. If we’re not sure as a council, how will residents know where they stand?”

Southend Council will relaunch its Operation Heatwave, with measures to keep people safe, as the weather improves.