Restrictions to be placed on Brighton beach after large crowds gather

Stewards will be posted along the beach and visitor numbers will be restricted.

Brighton and Hove City Council have announced that they will be restricting access to Brighton beach from today (Friday 22 May), following hoards of visitors during the recent sunny weather.

This comes after many establishments have re-opened to serve take-away food and beverages along the seafront, causing a sudden influx of visitors from Brighton and surrounding areas. As a result, there has been a dramatic increase in “public nuisance, urination and littering”, as well as issues of “crowding and groups gathering”,  a spokeswoman for Brighton and Hove City Council told The Argus.

It appears that the flocks of beach-goers have overwhelmed the facilities, with bins overflowing and public toilets in constant use, causing concerns for health and safety in the current global crisis.

The gathering of groups observed on the seafront directly contravene government social distancing guidelines, and as a result, the council have taken action. Stewards will be posted at entry and exit points along the central beach from 12 pm to 9 pm every day, and the number of visitors will be restricted.

Many of Brighton’s residents have noticed the large crowds in recent weeks. Rosie, a Sussex student, told The Sussex Tab, “I decided to walk down to the seafront (which is 10 minutes from my house) as I hadn’t seen the beach since the very start of lockdown when it was completely desolate. I was genuinely shocked at how many people were there, it felt like lockdown was totally over and everyone was back to normal. The bins were overflowing with plastic cups and food rubbish, there were huge queues for the toilets (where no one was observing social distancing) and there were lots of big groups of people who clearly weren’t from the same household.

Bins overflowing with litter on Brighton seafront

“It actually made me feel really sad, I was so disappointed to see the beach that was empty a few weeks ago, now totally swarmed with people who were clearly breaking lockdown advice. The bars along the seafront are totally to blame, almost everyone had a drink in their hand, so clearly people are going to the beach when it’s hot for that reason. It made me not want to go back there on a walk again anytime soon.”

Chairwoman of the tourism, equalities, communities and culture committee, Councillor Carmen Appich, told The Argus “We are so proud of the city we share, but to promote Brighton and Hove as a place to visit at this time would be utterly irresponsible and an insult to the NHS staff and frontline workers who have protected the whole county throughout this devastating crisis.

“We miss our visitors and are desperately looking forward to the day we can get back to being the welcoming and vibrant destination we’re best known for, but right now it is not business as usual in Brighton and Hove.”