OFFICERS patrolling on Brighton and Hove promenade have urged people to stay away after noticing that the number of people on the beach was increasing.

The city's police force is reinforcing the Government message of "stay home, stay safe" over the bank holiday weekend to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Officers on the seafront snapped a photo of people exercising on the beach and said: "The number of people along Brighton beach exercising is increasing. Please keep social distancing of at least two metres.

"We will be patrolling all weekend and are there to help. Please play your part and follow advice.

"Exercise close to home for a short time, otherwise stay home, save lives."

The force has been patrolling along the promenade for several weeks following the announcement of the UK lockdown, moving along people who are sitting still, sunbathing or spending time in groups.

Last weekend a couple were arrested and told they would be summoned to court to face charges of breaching Schedule 21 of the Coronavirus Act 2020 after a barbecue was lit on the beach near Hove Lawns.

READ MORE>>>Watch: Couple charged after lighting barbecue on Hove beach

The Argus:

Sussex Police, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and Brighton and Hove City Council all spoke ahead of the bank holiday weekend asking people to adhere to social distancing guidelines on the coast.

There were concerns that warm weather over the extended break will encourage beach-goers to visit the seafront and flout Government guidance.

Council leader Nancy Platts said: "Easter is normally a chance to unwind and enjoy the first long weekend of the year – but this Easter will be unlike any other and for NHS staff, carers and other key workers there will be no chance to relax.

"That’s why it’s essential that we all play our part in protecting the NHS and all those working tirelessly on our behalf.

"That means not taking a trip to the coast, not meeting up with friends, not sunbathing on the beach or taking a dip in the sea, and not having a picnic in the park, for example.

"Last weekend so many people were on our seafront and beaches on Saturday that at times it became impossible to maintain safe social distancing, and so once again we are appealing to people. Please stay away from Brighton and Hove.

"And we are asking local residents to follow the government guidelines by only going out when absolutely necessary, exercising close to home (either on your own or with people from your own household) and keeping a distance of two metres (six feet) from other people.

"I know these messages may sound draconian, but we need to keep ourselves and everyone around us safe.

The Argus:

"It’s hard being inside and not seeing friends and family, particularly at Easter with a sunny weekend in prospect, but our action now will help to save lives. Later in the year we can enjoy everything our amazing city has to offer once again

"Stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives."

A HM Coastguard spokesman also warned people that they should not be taking part in watersports over the weekend.

He said: "The coast is clear, but don’t be tempted. Keep your beach gear at home with you this Easter weekend to protect yourself, the emergency responders and the NHS, who’d have to come to your aid if it went wrong. Stretch your legs, not our resources."

  • The coronavirus Sussex Crisis Fund has been set up to help those affected by the pandemic. The Argus’s charity and American Express have each donated £50,000 to kick-start the appeal. Grants will usually be for up to £5,000. More information is available at www.sussexgiving. To donate visit