SOUTHEND is a town well-known and loved for its beaches and with the weather getting warmer, it’s evident people want to make the most of it.

But with the easing of lockdown, the seaside town faces difficulties with visitors taking advantage of the eased restrictions on travel and exercise.

Beaches have been packed for the past few days following the glorious weather, raising some serious concerns around visitor numbers.

With the weekend and Bank Holiday approaching, it’s likely visitors will continue to flock to Southend and surrounding towns such as Shoebury, Westcliff, Chalkwell, and Leigh.

Southend Council has spearheaded a number of measures, including suspended parking and the widening of Western Esplanade but is it enough?

After a brief walk along Southend seafront yesterday afternoon, I was shocked by the amount of people on the beach.

People appeared to have attempted to keep 2m apart when setting up on the beach, but with so many people within a fairly small area, it was hard to see how the 2m social distancing would help.

Richard Hammond, from Southend, is a painter who has been working on the pier for last two weeks.

The 42-year-old was horrified to see the number of visitors at the seafront.

He said: “I’m sickened by what I have been seeing. I strongly believe that there will be a second wave with all these families on the beach and on the esplanade - it’s packed.

“My family has stayed indoors for the last seven weeks. I have been working on the pier for the last two weeks but I am miles out and working alone.”

There were plenty of community safety officers and police patrolling the seafront, but they are now unable to issue fines or ask people to leave.

Southend Labour councillor Kevin Robinson who also works for the NHS, said: “People are saying we should close the whole lot, but legally we can’t, there are no legal laws to enforce social distancing.”