HUNDREDS of people have had their say over whether beaches should be closed after the chaotic scenes in Bournemouth over the past few days.

It comes after Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned the Government has powers to close public areas like beaches if social distancing rules aren't being observed.

More than 600 comments have been made on the Daily Echo’s Facebook page so far.

Here are just a few of the comments posted.

1. The mistake was made when Boris allowed people to travel as far as they liked for recreation. There are too many people who are not taking this pandemic seriously and I do so feel for the people who live along the coast. We should have been on holiday in Christchurch at present but for the first time ever I’m really glad we had to cancel. Crowds like this give me no pleasure whatsoever anywhere.

2. Just close the trains and the M27 to anyone that doesn’t live this way said this weeks ago when we had it last time.

3. No, the beach shouldn't be close! What it needs to be close is BCP area, so all of us that live here can still enjoy the beach with no danger.

4. What has happened in Bournemouth is utter madness. Apart from the risk to the virus they are dumping tonnes of rubbish on our beaches. Gridlock's insane!

5. During lockdown my family enjoyed staying local for dog walks and exercise but I did wish I lived near the beach and even sandbanks so I could enjoy it more but I didn’t, I respected the boundaries of staying local to protect everyone. I didn’t see the sea for over three months. When they eased lockdown it went mad and everyone came down and ruined it. I have always lived in Bournemouth and I’ve been to the beach twice this year (Southbourne) it’s quiet, clean and locals take their rubbish home! We pay to live here we should be able to enjoy it.

6. Not to locals. I live five minutes from the beach and have no garden. Also worked through the pandemic. Need outside space and a break (probably like many others in the area). Also pay enough in council tax.

7. We need to close Dorset. It's not fair to us locals, We're the ones who clean the beaches and there are some of us who don't use it for sun worshipping.

8. Don't close the beaches , restrict travel ! Fine people outside of the local postcodes !

9. Wow a warning from the health secretary!! Does he honestly think that the millions of visitors that have flocked to the beaches are going to all of a sudden stop, listen and heed the warning! Dorset has been swarming with visitors nearly every sunny day since lockdown measures were relaxed something more than a warning needs to be done. If they have the power to close the beaches then bloody well use it instead of using empty threats in the hope it’s going to deter the animals that have nearly wrecked Dorset’s beautiful beaches and scenery.

Bournemouth Echo:

10. Yes definitely to non residents. Difficult to control I know but worth trying to keep Dorset residence safe. We should have done the same as Wales from the beginning...visitors are not welcome go home. A 20-mile travel radius should be enforced.

11. Yes! Close the beaches. It’s getting ridiculous now. We've had several terrible incidents now such as the cliff jumpers at Durdle Door. How much more strain do we want to put on our services during this pandemic!? People are selfish and are not following the government rules so it's time to do something! Also, the amount of litter they leave behind!!!! So unfair on us locals.

12. But the government said "come to the beaches" of course they flocked down here. Why wouldn't they? They were told its ok. The government should have kept the essential travel only. The government are to blame. The littering is appalling. I can't comprehend who would leave their rubbish on the beach... Locals would never disrespect our beaches in this way and are actually organising clean ups to restore them.

13. Ban travel. Wales and Scotland did it. If you need to travel for work. Fine. But as far as travelling for the beach. No. It’s ruining it for the people that live here. It’s disgraceful what these people have done. The litter. The fighting. The lack of common sense.

14. The government should stop giving guidelines and make rules and fines . No one is going to travel for miles and then turn around and go back home when they see it's too busy, don't let them start out in the first place. There's nowhere open for them to stay. They should also ban alcohol on the beach and barbeques. I've lived here all my life and we were never allowed to take these things to the beach years ago. Also, stop dragging your poor dogs to sit in this heat. in other words Stop being selfish and stay in your own town.

15. The beaches should be closed but it essential that potential visitors are warned before they leave home and by road signs. I live in Bournemouth and people are desperate and determined when they get here through long traffic jams and no parking spaces. They must be deterred from leaving their home area.