The owner of Southend’s Happidrome Arcade has encouraged locals to visit “in accordance with government guidelines” after the Southend Echo urged visitors to avoid the seafront.
Responding to a headline reading “Stay away from our seafront,” Martin Richardson rushed to clarify the article, urging local residents to keep supporting their seaside vendors.
“Our seafront businesses are open for the takeaways as per Government guidance,” said Richardson, via social media. “Our seafront is open to the public who act in accordance with Government Guidance.”
“Hamilton’s Ice Cream and Doughnuts will be open till 5pm serving Hot Fresh made Doughnuts, tea coffee and Hot Dogs.”
Branded by Richardson as “propaganda,” the Echo headline referred to Southend councillors closing car parks in a bid to prevent visitors from travelling to Southend from areas such as Romford or Basildon.
“We certainly did not wish to be in this position, but it is unfortunately necessary to send a strong message to deter any gatherings and reduce crowding on the seafront, particularly over the New Year period,” said council leader Ian Gilbert in the article.
“We must do everything we can to reduce the opportunities for infection. Therefore, please don’t visit Southend, stay away, stay at home and save lives.”