COVID warnings being driven around Brighton and Hove have received mixed reviews from residents.

The Argus asked its readers whether they had seen the “Stop Covid” signs which were spotted being driven along the seafront on the side of a van yesterday afternoon.

“No because it’s a national lockdown and I’m inside like we’ve been told,” said reader James Villiers.

The sign with Brighton and Hove City Council branding urged people to keep two metres apart to avoid transmitting the virus.

It was attached to both sides of the black van, pictured by the Brighton Palace Pier at about 2.30pm.

Some believe the initiative is a “good idea to spread the message”, but others have blasted it as a “waste of money”.

The council has not made a statement on the vans to confirm they were sent out by them at the weekend. It is not clear if the van was used by workers on their way to do council work or if it was simply being driven around to show off the message on its side.

Reader Silla Bilinszi said: “I saw it today exactly on that place and I thought it was collecting people with positive results in the back.”

Another reader, Carl Sullivan, said: “It's good for people who don't know that we've got to stop Covid, in case they were unaware.

“But most of them believe it's all dreamed up so it will not have any effect on their behaviour, the others know already and behave appropriately without a van telling them.”

Under the measures people are only allowed to leave their homes for certain specific reasons, with schools closed to the majority of pupils and all non-essential businesses closed in an attempt to ease pressure on the embattled NHS.

People must stay at home and only go out if you have "a reasonable excuse".

You are not to meet people socially unless you live together or form a support bubble.

People breaking these rules can face fines, including an £800 penalty for those attending house parties of more than 15 people - and a £10,000 fine for the organisers.

Authorities are advertising the regulations across a number of platforms, ranging from social media to bus stops.

Reader Gavin Elouise said: “If people don’t know by now about Covid then they should just be left to get on with it.

“What a waste of petrol and traffic fumes.”

Another reader, Dave Edwards, said: “It's one vehicle trying to give out a message to save lives.

“A good thing I think. So many negative comments about how this single van is going to pollute the earth.”

Deaths from Covid-19 are currently at their highest in Brighton and Hove and are likely to remain high over the next few weeks.

The news came as the city’s director of public health Alistair Hill said the number of cases, dated from a positive test, is coming down across the city.

Reader Paul Williams said: "What’s Covid? Haven’t heard of it?

"I’m glad I saw the Covid-mobile today to enlighten me."