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‘Everyone is worried things are happening too quickly’: Suffolk coast’s fears on lockdown easing

PUBLISHED: 18:04 31 May 2020 | UPDATED: 08:46 01 June 2020

The seafront in Southwold. More people have been returning to beaches after the lockdown was eased. Pictures: Brittany Woodman

The seafront in Southwold. More people have been returning to beaches after the lockdown was eased. Pictures: Brittany Woodman

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Fears have been raised that the Covid-19 lockdown easing is “happening too quickly” - as growing numbers of visitors flock to the Suffolk coast in warm weather.

A busy car park close to Dunwich beach. Pictures: Brittany WoodmanA busy car park close to Dunwich beach. Pictures: Brittany Woodman

Scientific experts have warned that the UK is entering a “very dangerous” moment, as restrictions previously put in place to prevent the spread of the virus are lifted.

Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, England’s deputy chief medical officer, said the government and public have a “dual responsibility” to prevent a second wave of the virus.

MORE: Decomposed body of young whale found on Southwold beach

He added at a weekend Downing Street coronavirus briefing: “Don’t tear the pants out of it, and don’t go further than the guidance actually says.”

Social distancing signs placed near the pier at Southwold. Pictures: Brittany WoodmanSocial distancing signs placed near the pier at Southwold. Pictures: Brittany Woodman

In Southwold, district councillor David Beavan said there were more people visiting for a day out at the seaside - meaning it is harder for people to social distance accordingly, by keeping two metres apart.

He said: “People are keeping to social distancing on the beach, but the pinch points are the promenade and the High Street.

“If people are queuing up to get fish and chips on the High Street, then it is hard to keep your distance as you walk past – how can you keep two metres away if there’s a queue on the pavement and cars in the road?”

“Everyone is worried that things are happening too quickly.”

The promenade in Southwold has been getting busier as the coronavirus lockdown is eased. Pictures: Brittany WoodmanThe promenade in Southwold has been getting busier as the coronavirus lockdown is eased. Pictures: Brittany Woodman

Find all of our coronavirus coverage here.

Writing in a national newspaper, the government’s chief scientific advisor, Sir Patrick Vallance, said ministers had to take “many other factors into consideration” in making decisions, and that Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) advice was “independent of politics”.

From Monday in England, friends and family can meet in parks and gardens in socially distanced groups of six.

For those who have been shielding, a slight reprieve will come in the form of being able to go outside with members of their household while continuing to follow social distancing guidelines.

Those in this category who live alone can meet outside with one other person from another household.

Keep up-to-date with the latest news on coronavirus in Suffolk by joining our Facebook group or subscribing to our newsletter.


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