Public praised as crowds stay away from East Anglia's beaches and beauty spots

Clacton (top left), Milton Keynes (top right), the A14 (bottom left) and Cambridge (bottom right) were all quiet on Saturday. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The leader of Tendring District Council has praised the public for staying away from the East Anglian coastline, despite lockdown rules being eased.

There had been fears that people would flock to the region's beaches and beauty spots on Saturday after the government announced a slight relaxation of restrictions.

From this week, there's no longer a limit on the amount of daily exercise allowed in England, or how far people can travel.

With higher temperatures forecast for Sunday, there could yet be an influx of visitors before the weekend is out, but beaches remained largely quiet at resorts like Clacton in Essex on Saturday.

Police were patrolling the promenade in the town to make sure those going for a walk were following social-distancing rules.

Police were on patrol in Clacton. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Car parks have now reopened, but toilets and shops remain closed.

The Leader of Tendring District Council, Neil Stock, told ITV News Anglia that he was pleased people had chosen to stay at home.

"It's quite tragic for me as leader of the council, I want people to come to Clacton, spend their lovely money, and put it into our coffers. Unfortunately we're not able to take money off people at the moment, we've got no facilities to offer them," he said.

"We haven't even been able to get the toilets opened yet so please carry on doing what you're doing everyone and stay at home until this is all over."

Parks in Cambridge weren't as busy as first feared. Credit: ITV News Anglia

It was a similar story at beauty spots across the region, including at Willen Lake in Milton Keynes where only a few people were out for a walk or a jog.

The roads were also fairly calm, with the A14 in Cambridgeshire remaining relatively quiet.

Cambridge city centre wasn't busy either, and local councillors say they will continue to urge people to stay away until it is safe to visit again.

"There's only so much capacity Cambridge will have, and we will be very clear that if things change, and shops start opening and people are encouraged to come to Cambridge - that has to be safety first," Cllr Lewis Herbert said.

"We will, like coastal resorts, give advice if we think there's a risk and try and persuade people not to come until we know that it's safe."

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