Keep Your Distance
w/c 18 May 2020
I believe that the intention for most people is to adhere to the social distancing rules and keep a safe two metre distance, but that’s not always been the result this week. The relaxed measures combined with the sunny weather have meant people have flocked to our beaches with ideas of social distancing going out of the window for some. Our Street Rangers are working hard alongside our partners in the Town Centre Police and Community Safety teams to keep the public safe but it has proved a challenge as visitor numbers rise.
Businesses have done a great job of setting up safe queuing procedures, promenades have been widened to allow visitors to stay apart, signage is everywhere providing information, and safety personnel are all over the town. Despite these actions Southend still made the national press on Wednesday as an example of how social distancing measures were fairing in the hot weather...
Ordinarily a shot of sun worshipers enjoying our beaches would have been welcomed by businesses, especially those in our tourism and leisure industries, but when it shows people not following the current guidelines it will have done quite the opposite. By staying apart and avoiding busy locations we will be helping our local businesses in the long term. We will be sending out the message that Southend is a safe destination for visitors when the pandemic is over and businesses can welcome tourists again with open arms.
The Street Rangers will continue to patrol the town this weekend to offer advice and remind everyone to keep a safe distance but as the weather heats up for the bank holiday we need your help too. If we keep our distance then it is likely that the Government will stick to the timeline of phased reopening and more of our Southend businesses can start trading again, which is vital to protect jobs and stop permanent closures. So please: choose quieter locations or quieter times of the day to visit, only meet up with just one other person who you do not live with, and please always keep a two metre distance. Remember - stay safe, stay apart.
- Suzanne Gloyne