VISITORS have been urged to "Visit Southend Safely" with Covid restrictions continuing to ease from Monday.

From April 12, pubs and restaurants serving outside can reopen along with all non-essential shops, as well as gyms, hairdressers, and nail salons.

Southend Council has now confirmed the launch of the Visit Southend Safety campaign, after the Echo revealed the plans two weeks ago.

Businesses have been provided with signs and posters and hundreds of public signs have also being put up in visitor and shopping hotspots.

In central Southend, shops will continue to provide hand sanitiser dispensers and shoppers will be encouraged to keep left.

While in Leigh, some parking spaces on Broadway West to allow for social distancing.


Visitors have been told to plan ahead before visiting the town.

Carl Robinson, director of public protection, at Southend Council, said: “Public safety is of paramount importance and the council has engaged with businesses and stakeholders offering advice and considerations about reopening safely and responsibly.

"Guidance includes how to run a Covid-secure establishment such as risk assessments, use of face coverings, social distancing, one-way systems, number restrictions, use of electronic payment, pre-booking and test and trace information.

"A dedicated regulatory service email to provide advice for businesses who may have positive test results in their workforce is also in place.

“The safety advisory group (SAG) will also be working with event organisers to design Covid-secure events and liaise with them on any event applications.

“A team of six compliance ambassadors will continue work in the community and visit premises to check compliance and signpost to guidance.

"Ambassadors will always look to engage with non-compliant premises in the first instance, with enforcement being the last resort.”

Suzanne Gloyne, Southend BID manager, added: “We are really pleased to be able to welcome businesses and visitors back to the town after such a long period of restrictions.

"We want people to support their local High Streets by shopping and spending locally with the reassurance that businesses and representatives from across the borough have worked hard to provide a safe environment.

"Please Visit Southend Safely by keeping your distance from others and respecting the measures that businesses have put in place as they are there to keep everyone safe.”

While Jacqui Dallimore, managing director at the Roslin Beach Hotel and chairman of the Southend Tourism Partnership, said: “We have experience of reopening safely out of previous lockdowns and we know what is required to do this safely and successfully.

"Partnership members and the council have been working closely throughout the pandemic and I am very confident we can encourage and re-welcome visitors back to the town, local residents out to our venues, and help our businesses get back on track.

"To our customers old and new, we have missed you and are looking forward to seeing you again soon, safely.”

A guide for businesses is available here.

Posters, templates and signage can also be found here.