Dorset Police has made another plea to he public to ‘think twice’ about visiting Dorset amid fears of bank holiday crowds flocking to the coast.

Since the Government relaxed the lockdown restrictions on travel and exercise, there has been a rise in the number of people visiting the county’s beaches, parks and beauty spots.

In the past few days Durdle Door has been overrun with visitors who were unable to maintain social distancing.

Chief Constable James Vaughan said: “We are very fortunate to live in one of the most beautiful places in the country and with the stunning weather we have been experiencing it is not a surprise that people want to come and visit. Dorset residents are also desperate to get back out to see their favourite places. The relaxation of the rules now make this possible.

“However, the Government is still asking us all to stay home as much as possible and limit contact with people we don’t live with.

“We’re asking people to think twice about what they’re doing – is it safe and is it fair - and do the right thing. Each of us need to take responsibility for controlling the spread of coronavirus.

“We have received an increase in reports of people staying overnight at locations across Dorset in caravans, campervans, vehicles or tents. While people can visit their second homes, staying overnight in a camper van, holiday home or a second home is not allowed.

“We will use common sense and discretion to determine what’s reasonable. Our officers will continue to engage with the public, explain the regulations and guidance and encourage people to follow what is being asked of them. Enforcement is a very last resort.”

Dorset Police issued 875 fixed penalty notices to people who have allegedly breached the COVID-19 restrictions between March 27 and May 21.

Martyn Underhill, Police and Crime Commissioner for Dorset, said: “Our message is very clear. Think twice before travelling into Dorset, and if you live in our county use your common sense before going to beaches or beauty spots that could easily become very crowded.

“If there are a lot of people in areas such as Lulworth Cove and the Durdle Door, it will be impossible for them to stay two metres apart– so if you don’t think you’ll be able to avoid getting close to people you should avoid these places. No matter how nice the weather will be over the bank holiday weekend, it isn’t worth the risk of becoming infected or passing on the virus to others.”

Dorset Council is using the hashtags #ThinkTwice and #ComeBackLater to try to encourage would-be visitors to travel to Dorset at a time when it would be safer.