RNLI lifeguards have returned to beaches in Cornwall and Devon, days after the charity urged the government to restrict access to coastal areas.

The beaches that will be covered include:

  • Constantine

  • Fistral

  • Gwithian

  • Mawgan Porth

  • Polzeath

  • Porthtowan

  • Perranporth

  • Summerleaze

  • Widemouth

Croyde Bay in North Devon has also seen the return of lifeguard cover.

  • WATCH: ITV West Country's Jonty Messer speaks to the Chief Executive of the RNLI, Mark Dowie

The announcement comes after the RNLI's Chief Executive wrote to the government asking leaders to restrict access to beaches.

Mark Dowie's letter followed the deaths of two people in separate incidents on the Cornish coastline over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Despite repeated warnings from the charity about the dangers of visiting coastal areas without lifeguard cover, eased lockdown measures have seen thousands flock to West Country beaches in recent weeks.

Mr Dowie said this has put the charity in an "impossible situation", forcing bosses to "choose between keeping the public or our lifeguards safe".

Two people died and one other person was left with life-changing injuries in separate incidents on Bank Holiday Monday. Credit: Constantine Bay Stores

The charity was forced to pause the roll-out of lifeguards at the start of the coronavirus outbreak due to challenges around social distancing and keeping members safe from the virus.

It is hoping that a lifeguard service will soon be operational on around 30% of the beaches it usually covers during the summer months.

Ahead of the weekend, people will see lifeguards on the beaches listed above as they make final preparations for the start of the season.

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