THESE pictures and video show how busy Southend's seafront is today... despite real fears of social distancing "going out the window for some".

The seafront was mobbed yesterday by daytrippers from as far away as Manchester and Leicestershire as well as some Londoners.

Basildon Standard:

No fear - the Sealife centre car park

Basildon Standard:

Distanced? - Southend's beaches are busy today

And the situation appears to be no different today, with the town's beaches proving to be a magnet as temperatures touch 24 degrees. 

Despite the large numbers, the pictures do show families sitting apart from each other on the beach while takeaway outlets which are open have implemented social distancing measures.

>> Crunch talks on seafront safety called as daytrippers take over town's beaches

But there are fears that isn't enough. 

Suzanne Gloyne, manager of Southend Business Improvement District, said: “I believe that the intention for most people is to adhere to the social distancing rules and keep a safe two metre distance, but that’s not always been the result this week. 

Basildon Standard:

Schorchio - families do appear to be keeping their distance on the beach at least

“The relaxed measures combined with the sunny weather have meant people have flocked to our beaches with ideas of social distancing going out of the window for some.

"Our Street Rangers are working hard alongside our partners in the Town Centre Police and Community Safety teams to keep the public safe but it has proved a challenge as visitor numbers rise.”

The business boss added: “Ordinarily a shot of sun worshippers enjoying our beaches would have been welcomed by businesses, especially those in our tourism and leisure industries, but when it shows people not following the current guidelines it will have done quite the opposite. 

“By staying apart and avoiding busy locations we will be helping our local businesses in the long term.

Basildon Standard:

"We will be sending out the message that Southend is a safe destination for visitors when the pandemic is over and businesses can welcome tourists again with open arms.”

She added: "The Street Rangers will continue to patrol the town this weekend to offer advice and remind everyone to keep a safe distance but as the weather heats up for the bank holiday we need your help too.

"If we keep our distance then it is likely that the Government will stick to the timeline of phased reopening and more of our Southend businesses can start trading again, which is vital to protect jobs and stop permanent closures."

Martin Terry, cabinet member for community safety at Southend Council, said: “Stay safe, stay apart, has been our very clear message to visitors and residents.

"Following the Government advice, we have put in place every possible measure to allow people to use the seafront safely.

"We have widened the promenade, installed a traffic contraflow and have additional council staff and volunteers working along the seafront to assist the public.

"There is only so much we can do and the large burden of responsibility falls upon individuals to follow the Government guidance, use their common sense and social distance appropriately.”