The UK government’s latest advice is that you can “spend time outdoors – for example sitting and enjoying the fresh air, picnicking, or sunbathing” with no set limit on the distance you can drive.
This has not only been rejected by the devolved administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, but in addition residents of Rye Harbour also put out their own message (since removed), saying ‘The car park is closed for a reason. We are self isolating as a small village, respect us and GO HOME’
The car park at Rye Harbour, which is managed by Icklesham Parish Council, has now reopened, but its closure did not deter drivers as the roads around the village and down towards the Rye Harbour Nature Reserve became increasingly clogged with parked cars.
Rother District Council (RDC) had asked that people do not travel to visit local beaches and earlier in the week, RDC released a statement saying: “With relaxed Covid-19 guidelines and warm weather it’s tempting to rush to the beach for a day out, we urge you not to. There is no lifeguard service and if our beaches become busy it will be impossible to social distance. Don’t take unnecessary risks – help us protect you.”
Rye Harbour however was busier on Wednesday than it has been recently – but not as much as it is on a normal Sunday pre-lockdown. Numbers had increased however both round the nature reserve and along Winchelsea Beach.
[Editor’s note : Rother’s advice however appeared to be totally ignored, as BBC South East reported, in Camber Sands on Wednesday (possibly the hottest day of the year so far) as the village and its approach roads became as packed, as they often do on a typical bank holiday, and the police struggled to maintain control – let alone social distancing]
And the view from Rye Harbour on Wednesday suggested the beach at Camber Sands was very crowded in comparison with the nature reserve and Winchelsea Beach.
Image Credits: Kevin McCarthy .