Staying in or going out? The Bank Holiday balancing act for the weekend

The crowds have already been flocking to the beaches and there are fears the Bank Holiday weekend will put tourist hotspots under more pressure.

While the government coronavirus advice is still to stay at home as much as possible restrictions on going outside have been eased.

  • Watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Hannah Pettifer

The more relaxed guidelines in England allow people to travel to outdoor open space 'irrespective of distance', take as much outdoor exercise as they wish and they can sit outside, have a picnic or sunbathe.

The social distance rule of two metres between people outside and at work are still in force but they were pushed to the limit this week as the crowds descended on Southend on the hottest day of the year so far, on Wednesday.

The authorities in Gorleston and Great Yarmouth on the Norfolk coast are still urging tourists to stay away. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Many coastal areas of the Anglia region and other tourist locations are still urging visitors to stay away.

The region's biggest seaside resort, Great Yarmouth, is encouraging tourists to stay away.

Council leader Cllr Carl Smith said: “We’re still encouraging would-be tourists to make the sensible choice to stay away for now, to help control the spread of this deadly infectious virus and save lives.

"Please do not be tempted to congregate on our coast, risking the safety of yourself, your family and the local community. It’s still not the right time for tourism."

Great Yarmouth is opening some public toilets for the first time for emergencies and to allow people to wash their hands but says car parks, tourist attractions, hotels and campsites remain closed.

The river embankment in Bedford has been a popular location for visitors. Credit: Graham Custance

The Mayor of Bedford Dave Hodgson has acknowledged the embankment area by the River Great Ouse in the town centre is very popular with visitors to urged people to stay at home if they have a garden.

He said if people do need to go out: "Maybe look at exploring other places, the embankment is extremely popular, it’s absolutely beautiful but we’ve got lots of other parks and open spaces you can go."

"Don’t go and have a big social gathering with lots of other people from different households. "The advice is very clear just stick to your own household and make sure you socialise with them. "By all means walk out we are seeing more people saying hello to each other from two metres distance acknowledging each other and being very pleasant been done in good spirits but everyone needs to stay apart otherwise we risk a second spike.

Dave Hodgson, Mayor of Bedford

Weybourne near Cromer on the North Norfolk coast was inundated with visitors last weekend when lockdown restrictions were first eased.

Lyndon Swift, co-landlord of The Ship Inn, said the government have "opened the floodgates" by easing the lockdown measures too quickly.

  • Suffolk's Chief Constable Steve Jupp explains how they will police the Bank Holiday weekend


  • Spent time out doors - sitting enjoying the fresh air, picnicking or sunbathing

  • Meet one other person from another household but maintain social distance guidelines

  • Exercise outdoors as much as you wish

  • Take part in outdoor sport like tennis, basketball or golf

  • Go to a garden centre

  • You can travel to outdoor open space irrespective of distance but you shouldn't travel with someone outside your household


  • Visit family or friends in their own homes

  • Exercise indoors in a gym or leisure centre or swimming pool

  • Use an outdoor gym or playground

  • Visit a private or ticketed attraction

  • Gather in groups of more than two, unless from your own household

Coronavirus: Everything you need to know