Coastal towns around England have urged visitors to stay away this weekend, as lifeguards warned the “majority” of beaches would not be patrolled.
Tourism bosses in seaside towns have warned attractions will remain closed.
HM Coastguard urged those heading to the beach this weekend to “respect the sea and the coast”.
In a social media post, it warned that most beaches “would not be lifeguarded” and said people should “take extra care” regardless of “ability or experience”.
Sea swimming is now allowed as daily exercise in England, as well as paddle boarding, surfing, windsurfing, rowing, kayaking and canoeing.
Sailing and the use of private boats are also permitted under the changes.
In Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, where lockdown rules remain in place, people should continue to remain at home, the coastguard said.
‘We’re still closed’
The reminder came alongside calls for people to avoid visiting the country’s coastal regions, including:
- Tourism bosses in Cornwall and Devon told visitors to “stay away”
- Blackpool council reminding tourists “traditional attractions that you want to see” would not be open
- The leader of Brighton and Hove City Council warning people that their “favourite places” were closed
- Mayors of three North Yorkshire seaside towns expressed concern they could be overwhelmed
HM Coastguard director Claire Hughes said: “In England, now more than ever, people need to respect the sea and the coast.
“Whether you’re local or not, whatever your ability or experience in your chosen sport or leisure activity, the sea can still catch you out and be unmerciful when it does.”
Ms Hughes stressed people who get into trouble should still call 999 and they would “come to your aid”.
She said: “Remember your choices might put people, including yourself and front-line responders, at risk.
“Take extra care in these extraordinary times”.