Thanet council has put extra measures in place for this bank holiday weekend and the expected influx of visitors to isle beaches.
There are extra public bins and dedicated cleansing crews who will focus on the promenade areas. The authority is asking people to bin their litter or take it home with them following mess left behind on beaches after the hot weather on Wednesday.
Thanet council is not asking people to stay away and has opened public toilets at four beaches -Ramsgate, Margate, Joss Bay and Viking Bay – following the relaxation of ‘lockdown’ rules earlier this month.
However, the authority has issued a plea for people to dispose of litter properly, park responsibly and “behave in a way that protects the coastline.”
A Thanet council post on social media says: “We’ve been lucky to have had good weather, but this and the Government’s restrictions changing has (inevitably) meant more people have visited Thanet, particularly our beaches.
“We have been deeply disappointed to have seen that just a few days of additional freedoms some people have not been responsible – there’s been extra litter on our beaches (when the volume of litter was close to zero during lockdown), cars have been parked in a completely irresponsible manner, and toilets being closed has meant some people doing the worst!
“As always, these are the actions of a small minority of people. We appreciate that the vast majority of our residents and visitors do respect the rules and behave in a way that helps to protect our beautiful coastline.
“We are still in the middle of a pandemic, so please remember that we are not operating as normal.”
Thanet’s Conservative Group is urging people not to make a trip to the beach unless it is local to their home.
Group leader Lesley Game said: “ As a group, we wish to express our dismay at the number of visitors coming into Thanet to visit our beaches. These beaches are teeming with people, there is very little social distancing, in fact they are so busy it would be difficult to keep a safe distance.
“Under normal circumstances we obviously welcome visitors with open arms, thankful that they choose our district to enjoy our beautiful coastlines and award winning blue flag beaches. We know that they contribute largely to our thriving tourist economy, however, now is simply not the time!
“We could be at risk of seeing a rise in Covid-19 cases, this will put pressure on our local hospital, which has been doing an excellent job, on our police force and also on our very own hard-working council staff who will have to clean up after the crowds.
“This is not a holiday, we are in the middle of a pandemic. There are limited amenities open and no active beach lifeguards available to advise visitors best safety practice. We would ask people to ‘Stay Local’, residents in Thanet have worked hard to keep the Isle safe, staying at home; keeping to the social distancing rules; not visiting friends or relatives.
“We have the most beautiful coastline and beaches, and once it is officially confirmed safe we will naturally encourage everyone to come and enjoy these. But just for now please, ‘Stay Local’ and ‘Stay Safe’.”