Why we should stay away from the seaside and leave the Norfolk coast to the locals

PUBLISHED: 07:31 13 May 2020 | UPDATED: 09:41 14 May 2020

People enjoying a walk at Hunstanton in 2018. Picture: Ian Burt

People enjoying a walk at Hunstanton in 2018. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2018

We’re now free to explore anywhere in Norfolk as lockdown restrictions are eased, but we don’t all need to go to the coast, says Nick Richards

Apart from three years at university in the mid-1990s I’ve spent 42 years living in either Norfolk or Suffolk.

In that time I’ve never been based more than 45 minutes away from the coast.

It’s formed a huge part of my life and one day I hope to actually live on it, something I’ve never done.

You’d think, then, that I’d be itching to take my family there this weekend following the news on Monday that lockdown has been altered to allow households to venture away from their home and exercise in open spaces not limited by proximity from their houses.

Far from it.

Going to the coast right now seems crazy especially as we’ve all sacrificed so much in the last eight weeks. Why throw all that away by flocking to the same destination and struggling to maintain social distancing?

I can just picture the Daily Mail’s website this coming Sunday evening showing trawls of ‘Covidiots’ lining the promenades of Brighton, Bournemouth and Blackpool licking ice creams and exercising their right to a bit of seaside action just because they can.

I really hope we don’t follow suit in Norfolk.

I think of all the people that own houses on the coast, who’ve been denied the chance to meet up with a friend or a family member who’d like the opportunity to do exactly that this weekend but who may be deterred from doing so by thousands of motorists who fancy a day out in Cromer or Great Yarmouth.

Why don’t people who live more than 15 miles or so from the coast go somewhere else for the next few weeks and let those who need to use the coast use it.

I can assure you that if people go to the coast, the ice cream vans and arcades will be all to eager to open up and claw back some much-missed cash at the possible expense of the health of the people they serve and themselves.

I think the government were wrong to tell people they could go anywhere – there’s nothing now stopping the whole of Birmingham driving to Hunstanton this weekend to get a bit of coastal air in their lungs, which surely isn’t in line with what we’ve been told since mid-March.

I’ll be staying in Norwich and heading to an open green space rather than adding to the nation’s woes by driving to the coast.

I suggest if you’re not already near the coast, keep away, keep safe and go somewhere else.

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