People urged to stay away from South's beaches following major clear-up

Credit: ITV Meridian

A major clear-up has taken place at beaches along the south coast after thousands flocked there on the hottest day of the year so far.

Litter pickers spent hours on Friday morning clearing up discarded rubbish on beaches, including Bournemouth and Brighton.

People are now being urged to stay away from the region's coastline this weekend.

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole council declared a major incident on Thursday, saying services were "completely overstretched" as huge numbers of visitors defied advice to stay away.

BCP Council also said emergency crews received abuse and intimidation.

Dorset Police urged people to stay away from the area adding: "We are still in a public health crisis and such a significant volume of people heading to one area places a further strain on emergency services resources."

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Brighton Credit: ITV Meridian

Meanwhile in Brighton, bottles and cans were among the rubbish left in front of overflowing bins across the promenade.

Litter pickers also spent hours bagging up the rubbish that had been strewn along the beach.

Brighton and Hove City Council is now imposing £150 on-the-spot fines for littering.

Credit: ITV Meridian

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has warned the Government will take action if social distancing measures are ignored as thousands flocked to the south coast on the hottest day of the year.

Mr Hancock told TalkRadio on Thursday the Government had the power to close public areas such as beaches if people flout safety restrictions.

Thousands flocked to Bournemouth on Thursday Credit: PA images