Council bosses have made a strong warning to parents about youngsters flouting Government rules and not staying home.

The county council's Essex Coronavirus Action team posted about youngsters in gatherings, despite Boris Johnson urging the country to stay home in a bid to beat the coronavirus.

A spokesman said police have the power to hold mums and dads responsible.

They added: "Seriously parents - frontline NHS workers and members of the public alike have been appalled this week at the number of kids who have been spotted just doing what they always do with their mates when they are not in school.

"They are risking their own lives and other people’s, potentially crippling the NHS as a result, and the police now have the power to hold parents responsible. That’s all you need at the moment."