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Folkestone, Herne Bay and Dymchurch beaches fill up despite pleas

Beaches in Kent have filled up on the hottest day of the year so far.

On a day when temperatures in the county have reached as high as 26°C, the scenes have raised fears over social distancing.

Watch: tourists flock to Kent seaside

Campaigns by councillors, MPs and even business owners have implored sun-seekers to stay away from the beaches during the coronavirus pandemic.

However, photos taken today show the message has not been received, with beaches in Folkestone, Herne Bay, Dymchurch and Littlestone packed with people.

Folkestone resident Justin Allen said: "There are a lot of selfish people clearly flaunting the social distancing rules.

"The government gave an inch by allowing people to make trips beyond their own area to meet one person outside their household but sadly many have taken a mile.

"I hope we don't see a second wave in a few weeks time."

Justin Allen described the scenes in Folkestone as "a disgrace"
Justin Allen described the scenes in Folkestone as "a disgrace"

A Folkestone and Hythe District Council spokesman said: “The parks and open spaces across the district can be enjoyed again but people must not forget that social distancing has to be observed to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“Slides and swings in the play areas remain out of use and taped off but we are having to inspect daily as tape has been removed from the play equipment at Cheriton Recreation Ground and Radnor Park and has had to be replaced.

“Those getting takeaway food should move away from the outlet if they are staying locally to eat it and take their rubbish home.

"Our staff are seeing a build-up of people outside these premises and social distancing is being ignored.”

People from as far away as London and Essex have been basking in the sun at the beach in Whitstable.

Crowds flock to the beach in Herne Bay as lockdown measures are eased
Crowds flock to the beach in Herne Bay as lockdown measures are eased

They say it has been tricky but manageable to socially distance.

One tourist from Brentford in Essex told KMTV that he and his family travelled to the Kent beaches "just for a day out".

He said: "We were supposed to be on holiday this week, that was obviously cancelled because of the virus.

"It's our first day out for a number of weeks now.

"Socially distancing has been tricky, especially on the walkways, but other than that not too bad."

Read more: All the latest news from Kent

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