Published: 16:58, 08 April 2020
| Updated: 17:09, 08 April 2020
More than 100 rule-breakers were issued with stern warnings over the weekend after visiting the coast despite government advise to stay home during the coronavirus pandemic.
As reported on this site, one family travelled from as far away as Bromley - a round trip of two hours and 20 minutes or 122 miles - for a day out along Princes Parade in Hythe.
This goes against all government guidelines, which states people should not leave home unless absolutely necessary, for example to shop for food or medicine, travel to work or for once-daily exercise close to home.
It is hoped this type of lockdown will slow the spread of Covid-19.
And in a bid to stop crowds forming during the weekend's sunny weather, Folkestone and Hythe District Council's enforcement officers patrolled the coastline from Dungeness through to Greatstone, to Hythe all the way to the Warren in Folkestone.
They also patrolled other beauty spots known to attract visitors, including the Downs and Hawkinge.
But they ended up having to hand out more than 100 warning letters to people still out and about, including day visitors from outside the county.
Posting on Saturday on Facebook, a spokesman for the authority said: "This is not a public holiday - it’s a global pandemic.
"It’s disappointing we’ve had to issue a large number of warnings to those who refused to stay at home without justifiable reason.
"One family travelled from as far as Bromley just to visit the beach.
"It really is simple: stay home save lives."
As well as its disappointment, the authority shared a picture of many people walking along Princes Parade.
But it seems the council's direct approach worked, as by Sunday fewer people were spotted flouting the guidelines, as a comparison image showed.
But some day-trippers were still discovered and warnings were presented to those still ignoring the rules.
Cllr David Monk, FHDC leader, added: "I want to say a big thank you to residents who have followed the central government guidance by staying at home unless absolutely necessary.
"These selfless efforts will help stop the spread of Covid-19 and ensure things can return back to normal more quickly.
It also protects the health of our community – friends, family and key workers such as NHS staff.
"Unfortunately a large number of day-trippers from outside the county visited our beauty spots last weekend.
"Everybody should be following government guidance and staying at home except for the reasons set out.
"This isn’t something I thought I would ever say - but please don’t come to our district right now.
"Our stunning landscapes and views aren’t going away any time soon. Trust me, it will be worth the wait."
The council does not have the power to issue fines, but said it passed "intelligence to police partners".
It comes as it was revealed Kent Police has now issued six fines to people disregarding the lockdown rules.
The man needed liftboat and coastguard assistance for a suspected broken ankle.