Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper
Long queues formed outside Sainsbury's this morning during the hour reserved for shopping by the elderly and vulnerable.

Long queues formed outside Sainsbury’s this morning during the hour reserved for shopping by the elderly and vulnerable.

Emergency health regulations brought into force in Hastings

Hastings has moved into lockdown following the introduction of emergency health regulations by the council which close down shops apart from food retailers and encourage citizens to restrict their outings. Enforcement officers will oversee retailers’ compliance with the new regime. Nick Terdre reports.

Even before prime minister Boris Johnson read the riot act to the nation on Monday night, emergency health regulations were introduced by Hastings Borough Council on Saturday.

These make it mandatory for a wide range of venues at which the public gathers to remain closed, including  public houses, cinemas, theatres, nightclubs, bingo halls, concert halls, museums and galleries, casinos, betting shops, amusement arcades, spas, massage parlours, indoor skating rinks, indoor fitness studios, gyms, swimming pools and other indoor leisure centres.

Meanwhile restaurants, including restaurants and dining rooms in hotels or members clubs, bars, including bars in hotels or members’ clubs, and cafes, including workplace canteens, may not sell food or drink for consumption on their premises, but are allowed to operate as takeaway or delivery facilities.

“Delivery is better as it prevents groups of people gathering unnecessarily,” the council’s press release says.

There are some exceptions to the ban on eateries: cafes and canteens in hospitals, care homes and schools, prison and military canteens and services providing food and drink to the homeless are allowed to remain in operation.

Queues also outside the Coop in St Leonards which, like many food retailers, is limiting the numbers allowed inside.

There was also queueing outside the Coop in St Leonards which, like other food retailers, is limiting the numbers allowed inside.

Restrictions essential

“These restrictions are essential,” said Colin Fitzgerald, lead councillor for environmental services and the designated new deputy council leader.

“Social distancing will help reduce the spread of the virus. This helps reduce pressure on local NHS staff and services, meaning people who become really ill with Covid-19 can get the care they need.

“If only 1% of our residents became seriously ill, we’d need to find 900 intensive care beds locally. Currently the Conquest Hospital has 11.

“We must all comply with the advice from government in relation to Covid-19, to protect both ourselves and others.

“We ask that businesses and venues covered by these regulations comply with them; otherwise they will be committing an offence,” Fitzgerald said. “Please help us by doing your part to keep people safe, protect our NHS and save people’s lives.”

Authorised officers from the borough and the county council have enforcement powers to ensure compliance with the restrictions for social distancing and if necessary close premises.

The roads and pavements in town are now largely deserted.

The roads and pavements in town are now largely deserted.

Fish Fest cancelled

Meanwhile the council has announced that the Midsummer Fish Fest, scheduled for 20-21 June, has been cancelled.

“We had hoped that the Covid-19 crisis might have passed by the time of our Midsummer Fish Fest, but, realistically, that is now very unlikely,” a council spokesperson explained.

“We know this is a really difficult time for the small businesses who support our events. We are sure our traders have other things to worry about at the moment, so rather than keep them waiting, we thought it best to make an early decision.

“We hope that our Seafood & Wine Festival, planned for the 19-20 September, will go ahead and that it will be bigger and better than ever!”

The monthly Kings Road street market, which was due to start the new season on the first Saturday in April, has also been cancelled until further notice.

East Sussex County Council advises that libraries and household waste recycling sites have been closed, though kerbside waste and recycling collections continue. Car parks serving Camber Sands have also been closed temporarily after a “worryingly large number of people” headed for the beach over the weekend, ignoring government advice on social distancing.

The White Rock Hotel, and its popular cafe-bar, is closed.

The White Rock Hotel, and its popular cafe-bar, is closed, as is the White Rock Theatre alongside it and Hastings Pier across the road.


Posted 13:18 Wednesday, Mar 25, 2020 In: Covid-19


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  1. Stephen Milton

    11 ventilators will definitely not be enough. We will need hundreds or people like me are at risk of being left isolated while slowly dying of respiratory failure…

    Now is the time to be getting in more for a future that is only weeks away.
    What plans are in place?

    Comment by Stephen Milton — Thursday, Apr 2, 2020 @ 10:33

  2. Keith Piggott

    Since leaving Conquest surgical ward in February, as a vulnerable 78 year old, I and my wife have remained in self-isolation, having only external assistance.

    Whilst I support isolation, imposed by HBC, also posited by Dr Tuddenham, there is an ‘elephant in the room’.

    As a teen in the 1950s I contracted ‘Asian Flu’ and was laid low by its fevers. At the end of WW1 two of my great uncles, who had survived both trenches and gassing, succumbed to ‘Spanish Flu’ that took 100 million lives Worldwide.

    As a keen biology student at the time of Watson & Crick, now, I fear this new virus will mutate and evolve in unknown ways, even more virulent (COVID-20?) to dog mankind by circling then re-circling the earth like a Mexican wave. No one in authority dares to alarm the public, now being led to think a few weeks imposed isolation shall break the epidemic and return us to normality. I suggest that is a folorn hope. I am sure this lockdown is merely a foretaste of a probable future! The only sure ‘fertile’ is “earth to earth, dust to dust, and ashes to ashes”… but we all must hope to postpone that event, by even longer isolations.

    Comment by Keith Piggott — Monday, Mar 30, 2020 @ 18:30


    As the Conquest has only 11 intensive care beds, the ratio of highly at risk people over 70 in our area to available facilities for intensive support may be among the highest in the developed world. Isolation is the only resource we have at present to prevent scenes like those in North Italy.

    Comment by DR E G TUDDENHAM — Thursday, Mar 26, 2020 @ 06:28

  4. Chandra Masoliver

    Again, thanks Nick. Please continue keeping us informed.

    Comment by Chandra Masoliver — Thursday, Mar 26, 2020 @ 00:43

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