WELL-behaved sun lovers in north Essex took advantage of the hot weather yesterday with a trip to the seaside - but maintained social distances.

Visitors and locals descended on beaches in Clacton, Frinton, Walton, Mersea, Brightlingsea and Dovercourt where they enjoyed the bank holiday weather and splashed in the sea.

Ahead of the three -day break, day trippers were reminded by Tendring Council of the lack of attractions and restaurants due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Those considering travelling to the Sunshine Coast were also asked to remain mindful of the Government’s advice on social distancing.

The public’s level of commitment to the lockdown became a particular concern after Boris Johnson’s senior adviser Dominic Cummings was caught flouting his own rules.

But families were better behaved spreading out across the seafront.

Many, however, decided against heading to the beach all-together, with some sections of the beaches appearing visibly emptier than they perhaps would be on a normal bank holiday weekend.

There had also been concerns the feared influx of visitors could result in additional pressure being put on lifeboat stations.

But between Friday and Monday, lifeboat crews from Clacton, West Mersea and Walton were called to a total of just three incidents, one less than the same weekend last year.

RNLI Essex area manager Graeme Richardson said: “Since the lockdown rules have been relaxed we have seen a large increase of people utilising the seafronts.

“We ask the public to continue to follow the Government’s advice and keep themselves safe.”

Some residents, however, still believe locals and day trippers should be refraining from heading to the seafront.

Sheryl Kelleher, who lives in Frinton, said: “It has been busy this weekend and I think it is ridiculous,” she said.

“It is shocking to see and there will be a second wave without a doubt.

“There are some people social distancing but then you see people who aren’t or who are in big groups.

“The other day it was worse than a bank holiday.”