EVEN Rio knows Southend is the place to be this summer!

Seafront traders are preparing for another busy weekend - on the back of a visit from couple of celebrity guests - with temperatures in south Essex set to be higher than in the Caribbean

Former England international and Manchester United star Rio Ferdinand was spotted at Sealife Adventure on Wednesday with his wife Kate - who previously starred in Towie.

The VIPs praised an enjoyable trip while seafront traders say they are braced for a bumper weekend of business, with weather experts warning temperatures could exceed 34 degrees.

A council team of 100 staff will be keeping visitors safe, as the authority encourages day trippers to make the most of the heatwave safely.

Mick Tall, 66, owner of Papillon, Marine Parade, Southend said: “I think it will be very busy this weekend, especially if last weekend is anything to go by.

“We have got extra staff and plenty of doormen and we’ve got lots of stock. I think lots of people will see the forecast and rush to Southend as we have so much to offer.

“I think takings will be up for this weekend, compared with how business has been during the coronavirus outbreak.

“We’re very pleased the weather has been drawing out people and it’s really helping our business, and this weekend should be just the same.”

Alvaro Teixeira, 35, manager at The Friary, Eastern Esplanade, Southend said: “If the forecast is true and people have money to spend we should have another good weekend business wise.

“We are always prepared and have staff and lots of stock ready if we get lots of customers, and we should do with the forecast.

“We have the stock and staff for big queues and lots of trade, last weekend was great and the in case in business by the great weather is a great help and very welcome.”

Suzanne Gloyne, Southend BID Manager, said: “We’re pleased that we can welcome you back again to our shops, restaurants, bars and attractions in sunny Southend but we must all continue to respect safety measures in place. Our Street Rangers will be around all weekend to help businesses and advise visitors.

“Please remember your face covering, sanitise your hands regularly, to keep your distance from others, and to enjoy Southend.”

Last weekend the mercery hit dizzy heights of mid 30s and it’s set to continue this weekend.

The Met Office has also issued a health warning ahead of this weekend.

The forecaster had previously issued a Heat Health alert Level Two warning - but this has now been raised to three for the south east.