'Stay at home and respect the rules' - South Tyneside Public Health director's message after sunny weekend draws people to coast

People are being urged to ‘respect the rules’ after crowds were drawn to South Shields seafront by the weekend's sunny weather.

By Sophie Brownson
Sunday, 28th February 2021, 4:28 pm

Police officers were seen speaking to some people who had driven to South Shields seafront on Saturday, February 27 as the third national lockdown continues with the message for people to ‘stay at home.’

Pictures taken on Saturday show police officers stopping cars in the Harbour Drive South car park by the Little Haven promenade as the sunny weather attracted visitors to Little Haven and Sandhaven beaches to enjoy their daily exercise.

South Tyneside Council’s director of Public Health, Tom Hall, has stressed that ‘people should not be travelling to exercise’ and urged people to ‘stay local.’

Police spoke to drivers in the car park by the Little Haven beach in South Shields on Saturday, February 27. Picture: North News.

Mr Hall said: “While I appreciate that many people are keen to enjoy the warmer weather, the ‘stay at home’ order remains in place.

“Exercise is allowed, but I must stress that people should stay local and should not be travelling to exercise.

"I would urge people not to congregate in large groups and to respect the rules, particularly around social distancing, which are aimed at reducing the spread of the virus while the vaccine is rolled out.

“You must ensure that you are socially distanced at all times.

Police officers were speaking to drivers at South Shields seafront. Picture: North News.

"If an area appears to be busy then please avoid it.

"It is vital that we all do everything we can to reduce the chance of transmission.”

However, people can travel a short distance within their own local area to do so.

Police spoke to drivers in the Harbour Drive South car park by the Little Haven beach promenade in South Shields. Picture: North News.

In an effort to help people to keep a safe distance from each other the council has been clearing windswept sand from footpaths and walkways.

Additional signage and banners have also been installed on railings, lampposts and bins reminding people of the need to stay two metres apart.

Mobile advertising, reinforcing the ‘stay home, stay local’ message will be seen over the coming weeks aimed at people who are travelling to the seafront from outside the local area.

Council officers have also been talking to seafront businesses reminding and advising them on measures to help ensure the safety of staff and customers.

People are being urged to stay at home and not to travel outside of their area as lockdown restrictions continue. Picture: North News

Northumbria Police has been contacted for comment.

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Police officers were pictured in South Shields on Saturday. Picture: North News.