Coronavirus: Southwold asks tourists to help them 'rebuild'

Councillor David Beavan
Image caption Councillor David Beavan has helped to put up banners welcoming people back to Southwold

A seaside town that urged visitors not to come during lockdown has put up banners thanking them for staying away.

Fearing an influx of visitors, councillors in Southwold, Suffolk, put up yellow signs reading "please respect us - don't infect us".

They also urged those with second homes in the area to stay away.

As the town gears up to welcome outsiders again, it has replaced the primary-coloured warnings with friendlier green banners.

Southwold, which has just 800 permanent residents, is a popular choice for those with second homes and holiday lets.

When lockdown measures are eased on 4 July, out-of-towners will see new safety measures, including a one-way system on the High Street, enforced by town ambassadors.

Image caption The banner was put up shortly after lockdown urging people to stay away

Laura Cliff, who runs the Little Gems greengrocer, is one of the businesses looking forward to the return of holidaymakers.

She said: "It's a really good, positive thing but it's going to be really, really paramount for us to manage them coming back. So it's a real balancing act."

Councillor David Beavan, who put up the banners alongside colleague Simon Flunder, has urged a cautious approach.

He has suggested suggested holiday lets and other accommodation providers have staggered changeover days when checking guests in.

"It gives them more time to clean stuff properly, it just makes common sense," he said.

"I'm not telling people how to run their own business but let's just be careful and think ahead".

Image caption A one-way system has been brought in

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