Thousands of people took to the beaches in England on Friday as temperatures soared, with council officials asking others to stay away.
Friday has been the hottest day of the year so far, with the mercury peaking at 37.8C at Heathrow and 37.3C at Kew Gardens. Heathrow’s temperature also made it the third hottest day on record in the country, the Met Office said.
The crowded beaches came as Boris Johnson announced that further easing of lockdown restrictions would be put on hold as coronavirus infections across the country, especially in northern England, are on the rise.
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In Bournemouth and Poole, police and council officers patrolled the seafront to enforce social distancing among the masses of people visiting the beaches today.
Police considered cordoning off Bournemouth Beach as overcrowding fears mounted, a month after a major incident was reported on the same beach due to the same issue.
A spokesperson for Dorset Police said The independent that they were prepared to use cords in case overcrowding became a problem, and introduced other measures such as high-visibility patrols in sensitive areas.
Brighton and Hove City Council raised concerns about the number of people in the city and said in a Twitter post: ‘If you are not already here, please do not come to the city today’ hui. Large numbers make it impossible to maintain physical distance. “
Kent’s Thanet Council said reports from their coastal supervisors showed the popular beaches of Joss Bay, Botany Bay and Viking Bay “were reaching capacity around 11:30 am”. They added: “Please reconsider these beaches if you are still planning to visit Thanet today. “
According to the BBC, almost the entire beach between Poole Harbor and Highcliffe has been designated with the color red on the council’s beach app, which warned potential visitors to avoid the area because “safe social distancing is not Not possible”. A large number of people have also been seen at Southend Beach in Essex.
The Rother District Council has advised visitors to avoid going to Camber Sands as the beach parking lots reach full capacity by 11am.
Even the beaches of Scotland were not spared, as crowds flocked to Portobello Beach in Edinburgh. Police reported a “big disturbance” on the beach around 3pm, but no injuries were confirmed, according to the Edinburgh News.
Towards the end of Friday, visitors leaving the beaches were also repeatedly asked to use additional bins provided or to take their rubbish with them following litter issues after beaches and other beauty spots were filled. .
Thanet’s council posted several messages on Twitter reminding people to respect the environment and said: “A small minority spoil our beautiful beaches, parks and open spaces by leaving their trash behind. Don’t be THAT person. Do the right thing and find a trash can that’s not full, or take your litter home. “