THE reputation of the younger generation is being dragged through the mud by some of their peers who don't care about the risks of social distancing, a Facebook campaign group linked to Essex County Council says.

The team behind Essex Coronavirus Action has issued a strong warning to parents about gangs of youths and teenagers flouting the social distancing rules, as the country continues to battle the coronavirus outbreak.

The Facebook group says parents and carers must ensure their older children are aware of the dangers and that people who don’t care about the risks are dragging a generation’s reputation through the mud.

Writing on Facebook, Essex Coronavirus Action said: “Please. Please. Please tell your older children and teens that social distancing isn’t some sort of weird thing for adults because they might catch Covid-19 but youngsters won’t.

“It’s brilliant when you spot them meeting up and walking around with the correct distance between households, but their generation’s reputation is being dragged through the mud by more and more people of their age who just don’t seem to care.

"All of our admins have seen it out and about, and so we’re pretty sure that you have as well. We’re not generalising and we know that there are older adults who are just as bad, but we already carry plenty of content aimed at that age group.

“However, we don’t have the resources to hit the TikTok generation yet. We’re pretty rubbish at lip syncing and doing that dance where you tap each shoulder and then point at the ceiling before repeating it with the other arm. We haven’t gathered a massive Snapchat following by sticking dog ears on selfies and going all pouty.”

Essex Cornavirus Action said parents are influencers in their own homes and that they should be showing their older children and teenagers videos of intensive care units from all over the world to remind them how serious the situation is.

Essex Coronavirus Action is a collaboration between Essex County Council, the Essex Public Health Team, and Facebook group owners and it issues information and advice during the virus outbreak.