Britons urged not to head to the beach during sunny weekends in council safety warning

Beach trips are beloved by a great many Britons and a sunny weekend can seem the perfect opportunity to head to the nearest coast. This weekend marks the first in weeks that Britons are permitted to get and about more than before as lockdown restrictions ease. However, councils are urging Britons to think twice about heading to the beach this weekend, in their latest travel advice.


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Given the change in the Government’s advice on lockdown measures this week, the Local Government Association (LGA) has said it likely that many members of the public will travel to beaches in England if the weather is fine this weekend and in the coming weeks.

As of Wednesday, people in England are permitted to drive to other destinations for day trips.

The Government guidance reads: “People may drive to outdoor open spaces irrespective of distance, so long as they respect social distancing guidance while they are there because this does not involve contact with people outside your household.

“When travelling to outdoor spaces, it is important that people respect the rules in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and do not travel to different parts of the UK where it would be inconsistent with guidance or regulations issued by the relevant devolved administration.”

However, this newfound freedom among Britons poses a potential challenge for those councils responsible for beach safety.

The LGA is urging Britons to check advice on local council websites before they travel.

It’s important to check whether the beach is open and lifeguard provision is at normal levels.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) suspended lifeguard provision during lockdown and there are currently no lifeguards on the 240 beaches that it normally patrols.

This means that swimming at such spots is very risky.

Where normal lifeguard provision is absent, visitors are advised not to enter the water.

They should also read safety information provided locally, urged the LGA.

People must also not ignore beach closures or try and use dangerous alternate routes to a beach.


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Cllr Simon Blackburn, Chair of the LGA’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board, cautioned Britons looking to take coastal trips.

“It is vital that people check advice on council websites before travelling to ensure the beach is open and lifeguard provision is at normal levels.

“The public must pay attention to the life-saving advice given about the use of beaches during this unprecedented time.”

The Government published a 50-page document this week revealing the blueprint plan for easing coronavirus lockdown restrictions across the UK.

Phase one which began on Wednesday involves:

  • Workers who are unable to work from home are being encouraged to return to the workplace
  • There is no longer a limit on the amount of exercise one can undertake.
  • People can also meet up with one other person from outside your household so long as social distancing is maintained.
  • Members of the public are now allowed to rest and sit outside or play sports with memes of their household.
  • People are also able to drive to other destinations to undertake exercise.

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