Backlash after revellers flocked to the Bournemouth seaside could lead to beaches being closed to the public during the pandemic.

Although reluctant to make the call, Government ministers like health secretary Matt Hancock have warned that beaches may be closed to avoid a second spike in the Covid-19 infection rate.

The talks follow a “major incident” in Bournemouth when thousands flocked to the beach in the recent sunshine, with some ignoring social distancing regulations.

Reacting to the possibility of Allonby’s beach being closed, chairman of the parish council Roger Hart said: “It would stop a lot of people spending money in the village, at the end of the day, so many of the village’s businesses rely on income during the summer.”

He added that closing the beaches may not reduce the amount of footfall.

“People have been coming here fairly regularly through the crisis. I don’t think it would actually stop people coming.

“I would like to see what the decision is, I’ve seen the problems they’ve had at Bournemouth and I can understand it.”

He added that the problem is with social distancing, rather than the numbers of visitors, saying: “It was packed out on Thursday but people were social distancing.”

He added that Allonby’s beach is wide enough to visit whilst still keeping a distance from others and that visitors were being considerate.

Mr Hart said: “The majority are actually behaving as they should be.”

Businesses in areas such as St Bees are reopening next month as part of the Government’s phased return to normality.

But there are fears that the closing of beaches or a second spike in the R-rate could knock them back.

Thomas Milburn, owner of the Seacote Hotel said: “There’s no doubt that St Bees beach is very popular and it has been this week. The car parks and beaches are full.”

Commenting on fears over social distancing he said: “Some people who have stuck very rigidly to the guidance the Government has issued, I can understand them being a bit perturbed."

The Seacote Hotel will reopen on July 4 with much of the leisure industry and businesses in the tourism industry ready to get back on their feet.

Mr Milburn said: “Our telephone is already red hot. The beach access is very important.

“We are very seasonal as a lot of hospitality businesses are.”

He added that lockdown started in March and the hotel will reopen in July, removing many of the prime months.

“If the lockdown carried on and the beaches were closed for July and August, you’ve got 18 months of very little trade," he said.