A medical expert has slammed beach-goers for "making a mockery" of restrictions to stop the coronavirus spread. 

Dr Hilary Jones took to Good Morning Britain to discuss the latest photographs which have emerged from yesterday's heatwave, with thousands descending on Southend's beach to make the most of the sun as temperatures topped 25 degrees.

This morning, he told Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid: "‘It makes a mockery of test and trace right there, doesn’t it?

"How, if you test positive for Covid-19, and a contact tracer says 'where have you been in the last few days' and you say, I was on the beach in Bournemouth or Southend amongst those crowds, who do you know who was next to you? 

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"You can’t possibly trace people, and that’s the problem isn’t it? So when people start flouting social distancing rules, and we go out and lockdown in this kind of way, you can’t trace those people."

In a bid to maintain control of the outbreak, Southend Council drafted in measures to help with social distancing on the seafront.

The promenade between Chalkwell and Southend Pier has been temporarily widened to keep people socially distant while using the seafront, which has been made possible by a contraflow system installed by the council.

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This system allows cars to travel in both directions, but with a reduced lane width. All parking bays along the Western Esplanade are out of use, giving the public a great deal of extra space.

Despite efforts to dissuade visitors, which have also included turning the seafront water fountains off and the council's Don't Visit Southend campagn, many still flocked to the borough's beach.