Did lockdown daytrippers lead to spike in Covid-19 deaths on coast?

The data splits Covid-related deaths by small areas within local authorities.

In contrast to Frinton and Walton, three areas – Elmstead and Ardleigh, Brightlingsea and Clacton West – saw just three deaths recorded over the period.

Clacton MP Giles Watling said: “Every death is an absolute tragedy and we have got to work hard to avoid any future spread.

“We don’t know why there’s been a spike in Frinton and Walton, but it could be because of our demographics – or even because people came to our coastline during the lockdown.

“Overall the R rate is going down and I urge people to continue to be very careful even though the lockdown is easing.

“People must use their common sense.”

  • Busy – cars packed Frinton seafront as visitors flocked to the genteel resort during the lockdown.

Mr Watling and Tendring Council leader Neil Stock has urged people not to visit the coast as lockdown was being eased to help protect the area’s elderly population.

But some beaches, including those in Frinton and Clacton, saw an influx of visitors during last month’s warm weather.

The ONS data includes deaths for which coronavirus was the underlying cause, or was mentioned on the death certificate as a contributory factor.

Reports also show deaths linked to the coronavirus are still occurring in Tendring’s care homes.

The ONS data shows 156 deaths involving Covid-19 were provisionally registered up to June 13.

Of those, 49 occurred outside hospital – including 39 in care homes and six at private homes.

A further four deaths occurred in hospices, other community establishments or elsewhere.

Care home residents had accounted for 25 per cent of all Covid-19 deaths in Tendring up to June 13.

In May, 42 deaths in Tendring were linked to Covid-19, including those registered up to June 6 – equivalent to 18.1 per 100,000 of the population.

It means Tendring’s death rate ranked 24th of 45 lower-tier council areas in the East of England.

The rate represented a big drop from April, when it stood at 38.9.

A government spokeswoman said: “Every death from this disease is a tragedy, but thanks to our health and care workers and the huge efforts of the British people, rates of Covid-19 infections are decreasing over time.

“The Government is working to understand the key drivers of disparities in infection and death rates, and the relationships between the different risk factors.”

Covid-related deaths in Tendring, March-May:

  • Walton Frinton Coastal – 23
  • Frinton West Kirby – 16
  • Clacton North – 12
  • Holland-on-Sea – 12
  • Jaywick St Osyth – 10
  • Clacton Central – 9
  • Manningtree Mistley – 9
  • Clacton East – 8
  • Harwich Town Dovercourt – 8
  • Alresford, Great Bentley Thorrington – 7
  • Harwich West South – 7
  • Clacton Rush Green – 5
  • Clacton Bocking’s Elm – 4
  • Harwich Parkeston – 4
  • Weeley Thorpe-le-Soken – 4
  • Brightlingsea Point Clear – 3
  • Clacton West – 3
  • Elmstead Market Ardleigh – 3.