LARGS seafront car park, playparks and public toilets have been closed in a bid to prevent huge crowds gathering on the prom.

People reacted with horror as tourists and locals flocked to the shore at the weekend, with hundreds congregating to enjoy the sunshine despite warnings to social isolate in a bid to halt the coronavirus outbreak.

Urgent calls have been made to impose measures to deal with the volume of customers pouring into Morrisons supermarket in Largs and risking the spread of Covid 19.

Independent councillor Ian Murdoch has told North Ayrshire Council's chief executive Craig Hatton that he is 'very concerned' by people's behaviour.

He said: "Hundreds of customers are going into the supermarket at the same time, all mingling with each other and the staff.

"While government warnings have been in place telling older people not to go out, pictures taken within Morrisons, above, show it has been beyond packed at times during the past week."

Ferry companies now no longer take non-essential travellers in a move welcomed by Millport residents.

Local businessman Claudio Nardini said something should be done to tackle the supermarket situation.

He told the News: "In Italy, only 20 people are allowed in a supermarket at any one time. They are actually queuing to get in spaced in accordance with social distancing. That soon ends any notion of panic buying as people don't like queuing and realise they only go shopping when they absolutely have to.

"There should be no chatting, no mingling, it is not a place to socialise as per normal - you get your shopping done and that's it."

MSP Kenneth Gibson said: "Numerous constituents have raised concerns about the apparent ‘carnival’ atmosphere in Largs, Fairlie and elsewhere over the weekend.

"Sadly, powers to impose a lockdown, compel people to behave sensibly and stay safe are not devolved, although the First Minster is negotiating to have emergency powers soon.

"Social distancing is crucial, in supermarkets like everywhere else. If not heeded, the toll from this pandemic will be much higher than would otherwise be the case."

Calls have now been made for additional measures to encourage people to act responsibly.

AD Paton Butcher in Largs are already limiting the number of people in their shop.

Owner Scott Paton said: "It was very scary seeing the big crowds on Largs Prom congregating and mingling with each other - there needs to be additional measures brought in, such as erecting signs.

"Despite the warnings on Saturday evening, the numbers arriving on Sunday afternoon were unbelievable."

Councillor Murdoch added: "I witnessed events all day long which actually shocked me.

"The government have advised no unnecessary travel and yet there was a queue for the ferry and the seafront car park was mobbed.

"Many locals were very concerned at the amount of visitors and people not taking the situation seriously."

A NAC spokesman said: "We have become concerned about the large number of people who have been gathering in various locations across North Ayrshire.

Despite well-publicised guidance calling for social distancing, large numbers of people are continuing to gather in parks, seafronts and other locations."

"As a result, North Ayrshire Council has agreed the following with immediate effect:

"• Close all playparks to prevent parents and children touching the same play equipment, as part of the effort to reduce the possibility of transmission of Coronavirus.

"• Close Largs seafront car park to discourage the large numbers of people who have disregarded advice to stay indoors and have gathered in the promenade area in large numbers.

"• Close all public toilets which remain under council ownership."