Beach Check UK has expanded its offering to new locations across the country.

The app allows visitors to check the status of a beach before they arrive in order to avoid congestion and to encourage them to discover nearby beaches that are quieter and less crowded.

The app launched in various destinations across the UK on July 1st.

Working on a traffic light system that uses sophisticated technology and on-the-ground authorised users who assign a colour code to beaches according to the number of visitors, ability for social distancing to be maintained and number of car park spaces, the app aims to reduce overcrowding at popular coastal areas and encourage safe social distancing.

The app is free and simple to use, downloadable from Google Play and the Apple App store (with no in-app purchases), allowing users to check individual beaches or see a map showing red (crowded), amber (less congested) and green (uncongested) beaches.

Piloted by Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council in summer 2020, the app was developed to help manage overcrowding of the area’s beaches following easing of the first national lockdown.

In its first phase, it had around 40,000 downloads.

“We want everyone to safely enjoy a well-deserved summer this year, while continuing to minimise the spread of the coronavirus,” said local government minister, Luke Hall.

“That’s why the government is funding Europe’s first innovative beach check app to allow people to check whether beaches are busy before travelling to avoid a surge of visitors.

“This will allow coastal communities to carefully welcome back visitors and will help local areas bounce back from the hardship faced by the pandemic.”

The app is currently available in the following coastal locations: Hayling Island, Hampshire; Camber Sands and Bexhill Beach, East Sussex; Thanet (Margate, Broadstairs, Ramsgate); Westward Ho!, Devon; West Wittering, West Sussex, Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch and Minehead Somerset.

The National Coastal Tourism Academy is supporting BCP Council in the roll out of their app and is encouraging resorts nationwide to adopt it.