One of Britain’s most senior police chiefs has urged sunseekers to stay away from the country’s beauty spots today amid fears that overcrowding on beaches will make social distancing impossible.
Thousands of Britons are expected to pack out tourist hot spots and seasides from today as the Bank Holiday weekend gets off to a balmy start, with temperatures of 66F expected.
Martyn Underhill, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Dorset, called on travellers to “use their common sense” as he predicted that today would be the busiest day of the year for beauty spots.
‘Yesterday was the busiest day in nine weeks and it was a normal Friday,’ he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
‘There are two main issues; one is those travelling in to the south west and two is those people who are attempting to stay in the south west.
‘As we saw in Bournemouth, there are lots of people on the beach and only a few are failing to socially distance. But as the numbers increase, the chances of socially distancing are reduced.
People gather at Porthcawl Lighthouse at the start of the Bank Holiday weekend in South Wales this morning
Pictured: People enjoy the hot weather in River Lea in east London, as people flock to parks and beaches with lockdown measures eased, May 22
Pictured: Beach-goers use a shelter on the promenade in Littlestone, Kent ahead of the bank holiday weekend that is set to be as warm as 26C in some areas of the country
‘The other issue we have in Dorset is that most of our beauty spots, such as Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door, you can’t properly socially distance trying to get to down to the beach.
‘What we are saying is think twice and use your common sense. Ask yourself, “is what I’m doing safe and fair?”‘
Mr Underhill also hit out at Downing Street adviser Dominic Cummings, who it was revealed last night had flouted lockdown rules to travel from London to Durham.
He said that the timing of the revelation was unfortunate, and would embolden more Britons to travel long distances over an already busy weekend.
Tempers boiled over yesterday as locals clashed with vast hordes of tourists they say are blighting their parks and beaches since lockdown restrictions were eased ahead of the bank holiday weekend.
Following the easing of some lockdown measures last week, there are no restrictions on how far people can go to get to the countryside, National Parks and beaches in England.
Saturday is expected to be the coldest day, before the mercury climbs on Sunday and Monday, with wall-to-wall sunshine in the west and sunny spells in the east.
This has lead to officials warning potential day trippers to think twice before travelling to such beauty spots.
This picture of a large gathering of young people soaking up the sun near Darwen on the hottest day of the year on was taken on Wednesday afternoon, in 80F temperatures
The RNLI was reportedly called out to 194 incidents last weekend, which included crashed jet skis, paddle boarders, kayakers, windsurfers, drifting inflatables and bathers being cut off by the tide. Pictured: Windsurfing at Hayling Island Beach on May 22
The head of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has also pleaded with day-trippers to stay away from the beaches, warning that there are currently no RNLI lifeguards stationed on UK beaches.
Mark Dowie, Chief Executive of the RNLI has warned that lives could be put at risk as people rush to the beaches to escape the lockdown.
‘These are extraordinary times and we understand that after weeks of strict lockdown people are desperate to get out and enjoy some time on our wonderful coastline,’ he said.
‘As a lifesaving charity we cannot stop people heading to the beach. But please be aware any visit to the coast comes with risk, especially when there are currently no RNLI lifeguards on any UK beaches.’
Coastguard rescue teams were reportedly called out to 194 incidents last weekend that included crashed jet skis, paddle boarders, kayakers, windsurfers, drifting inflatables and bathers being cut off by the tide.
Councillor Carmen Appich, from Brighton & Hove City Council, has urged anyone thinking of travelling to the city ‘to consider very carefully how their journey will impact on others’.
Hastings Borough Council meanwhile has said the area is ‘closed to visitors from outside the town’.
Holidaymakers are similarly being told that the ‘clear advice’ from the Isle of Wight Council is they should stay away.
A social distance sign is seen on the seafront at Brighton beach to encourage social distancing, and to reduce the risk of coronavirus spreading among beach-goers, May 22
James Bunting visited Stoney Bank Quarry near Darwen, Lancashire, on Thursday morning for a walk but was so horrified by the state of the usually beautiful location that he was compelled to photograph it
A huge queue of cars spotted near the Peak District. Chief Inspector Mark Thorley has reiterated calls for people not to flock to the Staffordshire region this bank holiday weekend
After pictures showed crowds at Southend in Essex earlier this week, the council’s leader said the easing of lockdown restrictions has put the council in a ‘very difficult position’.
Councillor Ian Gilbert said on Friday: ‘For many weeks we ran a successful Don’t Visit Southend campaign, but the Government’s lifting of restrictions have put us in a very difficult position as day trips and sunbathing are allowed, and takeaways can be open for business.’
After seeing the number of people who headed to its coastline this week, Sefton Council in Merseyside has adopted a new campaign ahead of the bank holiday weekend.
‘Wish you weren’t here!’ is the council’s take on the picture postcard message it is sending to people thinking of travelling to its beaches from across the North West.
People are also being advised not to visit Blackpool to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.
And the leaders of three local authorities bordering Morecambe Bay have also asked people to think twice before visiting the area.
A jogger was filmed on dash-cam footage during his run. He is seen repeatedly kicking a grey Mazda car by Tregantle Beach in Torpoint, Cornwall that was parked on a lane at the roadside
Masses of cars parked near the Peak District. Meanwhile, in the Manifold Valley, a huge amount of litter and charred barbecues were left behind by visitors last weekend
Queues of parked cars near the Peak District, as the beauty spot becomes busier during the hot weather and plagued by piles of rubbish, ahead of the bank holiday weekend. Monday is forecast to see temperatures up to 79F (26C)
The damage caused by the jogger to Pawel Pasich’s vehicle. Mr Pasich, who lives in Plymouth, was enjoying his first trip out of the city on Wednesday since the lockdown restrictions were eased when he captured the jogger on his dash-cam footage
In Cornwall, council leaders have warned there is no lifeguard cover and a large coastal swell and spring tide will bring hazardous sea conditions over the weekend.
Rob Nolan, cabinet member for environment and public protection at Cornwall Council, said people should not be holidaying in Cornwall and must return to their ‘principle residence’ each night.
Devon County Council asked people to ‘think twice’ about visiting the coast and to consider if they could remain closer to home.
The National Trust is urging people across England to stay close to home and explore local green spaces and countryside this weekend, as part of the collective effort to make easing of the lockdown work.
Holidaymakers who travelled 100 miles to sleep overnight in a giant gazebo on a beach in Sandbanks, Poole, Dorset, have been fined. The group of visitors from London flouted lockdown rules by camping on the sand at the exclusive resort
Piles of rubbish pictured at the beauty spot. A top cop says tourists are failing to heed warnings to stay away from the Peak District as the beauty spot becomes busier
People are pictured on the beach in Bournemouth today ahead of improving temperatures set to hit Britain on the Bank Holiday
Speaking at the daily Downing Street press conference, Home Secretary Priti Patel said: ‘It is inevitable that obviously the public will be out and about a lot more, but of course our message is clear to the public – yes, enjoy being outdoors, we have encouraged people to go out, but we have put a very clear caveat around that.
‘This is all conditional. You can enjoy being outdoors in the sun providing you are following the advice and we continue to stop and contain the spread of the infection.’
Meanwhile, Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart said the different approaches taken by England and Wales would ‘increase the likelihood’ of people breaking lockdown rules over the bank holiday weekend.
Asked if he thought people were likely to break the rules, Mr Hart told the PA news agency: ‘Anything which suggests that there’s a different set of rules one side of the border to the other will increase the likelihood that that is possible, and there have been some examples of people being pulled in when coming into Wales who didn’t realise it was a different regime.’
But the MP for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire said he believed the ‘vast majority’ of people were complying with the lockdown rules in place in Wales.
Pictured: A dog walker and her pet brave a massive sandstorm on Tynemouth Longsands beach in North Tyneside today
Swimmers are pictured enjoying the sea off the Bournemouth coast today as authorities elsewhere fear huge waves today and tomorrow
A tree is pictured having fallen in the street in Middlesbrough today as heavy winds sweep the north of England ahead of the Bank Holiday
A group of people bask in the sunshine in London Fields, East London, yesterday as temperatures continued to soar
Meanwhile, bars offering takeaway services to fuel thirsty Britons through the Bank Holiday weekend are braced for a hectic three days.
Hundreds of landlords across the country are opening up today after an eight-week break during the coronavirus lockdown.
Millions of sunseekers taking advantage of relaxed restrictions in the nation’s parks and beaches have sparked a reopening of pubs – even if only through a hatch or window.
Excited beer-lovers have taken to social media to share pictures of their freshly poured pints after they headed to their local for the first time since a nationwide lockdown saw bars shuttered on March 23.
One woman shared an image of her father chugging from a bottle of beer to social media, after the pair visited the British Oak in Tingley, West Yorkshire. She penned: ‘I have actually just walked into a pub with my dad and got some beer to takeaway! Never been so excited.’
One woman shared an image of her father chugging from a bottle of beer while holding another to social media, after the pair visited the British Oak in Tingley, West Yorkshire
Excited beer-lovers have taken to social media to share pictures of their freshly poured pints after they headed to their local for the first time since a nationwide lockdown saw bars shuttered on March 23
Another pub-goer posted an image of her pint from The Island in Kensal Rise, London, while she sat outside on her balcony. She wrote: ‘Day 4/7 of lockdown life: our local pub is now doing takeaway draught beer! This is the best news I’ve had in weeks. Thank you to @TheIslandNW10.’
The Prince N22, on Finsbury Road, London, has been selling alcohol through a hatch to thirsty patrons. One customer tweeted a picture of a barman wearing a face mask with the caption: ‘Picking up some takeaway cider from our local pub.’
Visor-wearing barmen were pictured in London yesterday maintaining strict social distancing as they carried foamy pints to ‘collection points’ where they were then carried away by customers.
The Green W7, on Lower Boston Road in London, has teamed up with Gelato-maker South Street Ice Creams. Their stall is selling takeaway burgers, pizza, and beers
Visor-wearing barmen were pictured in London yesterday maintaining strict social distancing as they carried foamy pints to ‘collection points’ where they were then brought away by customers (Althorp pub in Wandsworth pictured)
Staff at the Greenwich Tavern in Greenwich, London, start selling takeaway alcohol from a window directly out onto the street yesterday
This Twitter user couldn’t understand why crowds were gathering to queue for takeaway beer when cans of alcohol could be bought from the supermarket
Some social media users worried pubs selling takeaway options were breaking the law, because it encouraged groups of people to gather together as they queued
The ‘new weekend bar crawl’ consists of moving between pubs that are selling alcohol for takeaway, according to this Twitter user. He explained the new ‘normal summer Friday night in the city’
Thirsty Britons will head to pubs today to take advantage of takeaway drinks services on what promises to be a boozy Bank Holiday weekend (punters in Wandsworth yesterday)
Millions of sunseekers taking advantage of relaxed restrictions in the nation’s parks and beaches have prompted a wave of pubs to reopen up for takeaways
The recent heatwave has pulled the public to packed parks, beaches and beauty spots, where many settled down with drinks bought from nearby pubs.
Takeaways have been allowed to remain open under the lockdown rules, but have been told to enforce robust social distancing.
At the Althorp pub in Wandsworth, bar staff operating from a hatch are wearing face coverings and dropping drinks off at outdoor tables to avoid person-to-person contact and the possibility of contamination.
The Greenwich Tavern in London also served customers from a hatch directly on to the street yesterday.
Because punters are banned from drinking on the premises, booze is primarily being served in plastic cups before been taken to nearby green spaces.
But many places are encouraging customers to bring their own containers, in a throwback to the 1950s when people would fill up casks at the pubs before taking them back home.
A stampede of drinkers would come as welcome relief to pubs which have largely shuttered during the lockdown – with the hospitality sector left in the lurch as to when it will be allowed to reopen.
Police forces across the UK have warned anyone hoping to buy some takeaway booze to keep two metres away from others not in your household.
A spokesman for Metropolitan Police said: ‘We have been made aware of a number of proposed plans for gatherings this weekend and we can only reiterate the importance of sticking to the Government guidelines.
‘Restrictions around activities that do not support social distancing remain the same, meaning that group sport, outdoor barbeques or parties, and other gatherings are still not permitted.
‘Officers out on patrol this weekend will continue to encourage and support our communities to comply with the restrictions to reduce the risk to public health.’
At the Althorp pub in Wandsworth, bar staff operating from a hatch are wearing face coverings and dropping drinks off at outdoor tables to avoid person-to-person contact and the possibility of contamination
Takeaways have been allowed to remain open under the lockdown rules, but have been told to enforce robust social distancing
The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) said pubs would have been packed on a normal late May Bank Holiday, with good weather forecast, and the FA Cup final usually held on the Saturday.
The trade body noted that pubs were the first businesses to be ordered to shut down by the Government in March and could be among the last to re-open.
The BBPA said not all pubs will reopen from July as many won’t be able to meet the social distancing measures required by then.
Ensuring a distance of two metres will be impossible for some pubs, keeping them closed for much longer, said the BBPA.
But the association is glad pubs have been allowed to reopen to offer takeaway options, something that will act as a much-needed boost to struggling independent brewers.
Customers observe social distancing as they queue for takeaway drinks outside the Althorp pub, in Wandsworth, London
The Greenwich Tavern in London also served customers from a hatch directly on to the street yesterday
A stampede of drinkers would come as welcome relief to pubs which have largely shuttered during the lockdown – with the hospitality sector left in the lurch as to when it will be allowed to reopen
Chief executive Emma McClarkin said: ‘It is great to hear about enterprising publicans selling takeaway beer for the sunny bank holiday weekend ahead.
‘The growth of takeaway beer during the lockdown shows how the British public are clearly yearning for the pub experience and in particular the unique taste of draught beer.
‘Any revenue for pubs at this tremendously difficult time is absolutely vital, this revenue will help pubs across the country reopen when the lockdown lifts, of course what we need is to find a pathway for our pubs to reopen.
‘Breweries are also selling their customers favourite beers online and some have even started drive throughs to get fresh beer to their customers.
‘Pubs serving takeaway beer are of course implementing social distancing measures and are upholding the highest hygiene standards.’
The Met Office is forecasting mild temperatures on Saturday and Sunday, with London at 73F (23C) and the western regions of England both north and south hovering around 68F (20C).
But on Monday London could hit highs of 78F (26C) with Manchester and Birmingham expected to enjoy temperatures of around 75F (24C) and Newcastle 72F (22C).
Jet2 extends the cancellation period of all flights and holidays to July 1 in light of ‘ongoing travel restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic’
Jet2 has extended the cancellation period of all of its flights and holidays until July 1 – as other airlines start to reveal when their flights will be back on.
The tour operator, which is Britain’s second-biggest holiday company, had previously said that its flights and holidays would recommence on June 17.
But the firm said that in view of the ongoing travel restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, it was pushing this date back by two weeks, adding that ‘the health and safety of our customers is our absolute priority’.
Jet2 has extended the cancellation period of all of its flights and holidays until July 1
A spokesperson for Jet2 said: ‘Customers who were due to travel before July 1 do not need to contact us.
‘We are continuing to proactively contact customers to discuss their options, one of which is rebooking their holiday to a later date.’
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) continues to warn Britons against all non-essential travel abroad
It has previously been revealed that British travellers are backing the idea of travel ‘corridors’ and ‘bubbles’, with searches for holidays to Italy and France rocketing this week.
Ministers are mulling coronavirus ‘air bridges’ to allow travellers to move between countries without the need for quarantine once the outbreak is under control. And Italy, Spain and Greece have all made headlines with announcements around the re-introduction of tourism.
Skyscanner revealed that in response, searches from the UK for holidays in July in Italy are up 103 per cent this week compared to last week and for trips to France by 128 per cent. Overall searches for international travel in July have increased by 37 per cent in the past two weeks.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said a ‘blanket’ 14-day quarantine rule for arrivals in the UK would be introduced from next month.
But he disclosed that there are ‘active discussions’ going on over what countries could be exempted from the regime in future, referring to the idea of ‘air bridges’ – usually used to refer to military flights over enemy territory.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) continues to warn Britons against all non-essential travel abroad.