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Sunshine lures more visitors to the Suffolk coast after lockdown easing

PUBLISHED: 16:40 17 May 2020 | UPDATED: 17:54 19 May 2020

People flocked to Felixstowe on the first weekend of the relaxed lockdown restrictions Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

People flocked to Felixstowe on the first weekend of the relaxed lockdown restrictions Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Archant

Suffolk’s coastal resorts had been relatively quiet on Saturday - but it has been a different story in some areas today.

People queue up for ice cream on Felixstowe's seafront, with clear markings to maintain social distancing  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNPeople queue up for ice cream on Felixstowe's seafront, with clear markings to maintain social distancing Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

With government guidelines now allowing more freedoms outside during the coronavirus lockdown, seaside towns such as Felixstowe, Aldeburgh and Southwold saw a notable increase in visitors.

Families were seen enjoying ice cream, children played in sand on the beach and several windsurfers were seen riding the waves as temperatures exceeded 20C.

One person said: “The promenade has been packed. It was like a normal day in summer.”

Residents in smaller coastal towns also reported an influx of visitors on the first weekend of relaxed lockdown restrictions.

Many people chose to go for a walk or run along the prom at Felixstowe on Sunday Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNMany people chose to go for a walk or run along the prom at Felixstowe on Sunday Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

MORE: Join our Facebook group for updates on coronavirus in Suffolk

David Beavan, town and district councillor for Southwold, said he had seen a number of people arrive at their second homes over the weekend.

He added: “The town has been a bit busier today. The beach is not particularly rammed but people have been coming.

“If people are sitting on the beach and socially distancing, I can’t see the problem with that.”

Families were seen laying on the sand, with some even swimming in the sea Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNFamilies were seen laying on the sand, with some even swimming in the sea Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

And Jocelyn Bond, East Suffolk councillor for Aldeburgh, said the town had been “considerably” busier over the weekend.

MORE: Southwold may introduce one-way system for pedestrians to aid with social distancing

She said: “The approach road into Aldeburgh has been pretty busy.”

An East Suffolk Council spokesman said: “As the Leader of the Council has already stated, the new government guidelines allow people a little more flexibility in what they can and cannot do.

Socially-distanced queues formed as people waited for fish and chips Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNSocially-distanced queues formed as people waited for fish and chips Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“However, very clear rules, with the emphasis on social distancing, remain in place to keep us all as safe and healthy as possible.

“Visiting popular destinations may now be permitted, but we would still hope and expect people to use common sense and think very carefully about where they go, how they interact with others and the impact that this may have on keeping everyone safe.”

Christchurch Park in Ipswich, a popular destination in sunny weather, also attracted a considerable number of visitors - including several families playing football and enjoying picnics.

Police were at the park as most people adhered to the social distancing guidelines.

Cars lined Felixstowe's seafront, a contrast to the last few weeks  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNCars lined Felixstowe's seafront, a contrast to the last few weeks Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

A new campaign is urging Suffolk residents to 'stick with it' as the coronavirus lockdown continues Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNA new campaign is urging Suffolk residents to 'stick with it' as the coronavirus lockdown continues Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

A police car drives through Christchurch Park as people are urged to socially distance Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNA police car drives through Christchurch Park as people are urged to socially distance Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN


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