Day-trippers have been enjoying beers at the seaside despite desperate stay-away pleas from tourism bosses on the first Sunday of lockdown freedom.
Although pubs are yet to reopen, many revellers have found their way around the rules as they headed out in the sunshine today to enjoy drinks at beach bars in Brighton.
Pictures show crowds of people queuing up for pints and sitting by the coast as they take advantage of the warmer weather.
However, tourism bosses are still asking visitors to stay away until social distancing measures are ready.
The Peak District National Trust said although staff are ‘working hard’ to welcome back visitors after weeks of restrictions amid the UK’s coronavirus crisis, they ‘aren’t quite ready yet.’
Tweeting to visitors on Sunday, the Peak District reminded visitors its main car parks at Longshaw and Ilam remain closed, but determined tourists are parking up at local roads instead.
In Brighton, Britons were photographed taking a dip in the sea as dozens of others strolled along the clifftop at Beachy Head, near Eastbourne as temperatures hit 68F in parts of the country, as the mercury is expected to hit 82F on Wednesday.
Although pubs are yet to reopen, many revellers have found their way around the rules as they headed out in the sunshine today to enjoy drinks at beach bars in Brighton (pictured)
Pictures show crowds of people queuing up for pints and sitting by the coast as they take advantage of the warmer weather in Brighton today
Several tourist boards have warned that people would be turned away if they became too busy and urged visitors to be careful and respectful of the rules.
This afternoon Business Secretary Alok Sharma announced the UK had suffered a further 170 deaths from coronavirus. The latest figures – which bring the UK’s total to 34,636 – are the lowest number since March 24.
Yesterday saw cautious Britons begin to step outside as traffic congestion data across the UK crept up by three per cent. But the predicted stampede of 15million day trippers on the first weekend since lockdown was partially lifted failed to materialise as most decided to enjoy the weather closer to home.
The lower-than-expected numbers could have been down to ‘coronaphobia’ – the fear of travelling too far during the pandemic. However data from TomTom today has revealed traffic is up in major cities such as London, Brighton and Manchester.
Today the South Downs National Park said people must ‘observe the three Rs by exercising restraint, responsibility and respect’, and urged people to avoid popular areas and keep 2m away. Meanwhile West Wittering beach in West Sussex is closed, but large amounts of motorists are still heading to the coast to enjoy their Sunday
Visitors to the Peak District have parked in nearby roads as it’s two main car parks remain closed on Sunday, the beauty spot has said it’s ‘not quite ready yet,’ for people looking to get outside during the coronavirus lockdown
A couple sit on the cliff-edge above the lighthouse at Beachy Head, near Eastbourne following an easing of lockdown rules
Families headed out to Branksome Beach in Dorset on Sunday as Britain basked in more spring sunshine
West Wittering beach in West Sussex is closed, but large amounts of motorists are still heading to the coast to enjoy their Sunday
Police look on as hundreds of bikers turn up in the tiny village of Matlock Bath, Derbyshire, where the appeared to ignore social distancing
Pubs across the country may be shut, but in Brighton there were long queues to buy a beer by the sea on Sunday
In Dartmoor car parks have closed after too many people arrived for the spot to remain safe.
A message from the Dartmoor Ranger Team stated: ‘As of 2pm today car parks in the Bellever, Two Bridges, Postbridge, Newbridge, Hennock reservoirs and many on the western side of Dartmoor are now too busy for social distancing to be observed.
‘Please can potential visitors to Dartmoor avoid these areas.’
In the village of Matlock Bath, Derbyshire, hundreds of bikers have arrived, riding the streets and parking up in rows next to footpaths.
- Imperial College London’s research, led by Professor Neil Ferguson, that led to Britain being placed in lockdown has been slammed as ‘messy’ by other scientists. The coding that produced the sobering death figures was impossible to read, and therefore cast doubts on its strength, The Telegraph reported. It is also some 13 years old, it said.
- Michael Gove today revealed the Government has recruited more than 17,000 coronavirus contact tracers putting ministers on track to hit their 18,000 target. The staff will play a key role in efforts to prevent a second wave of the deadly disease as they are tasked with figuring out where people who test positive have been and who they may have come into contact with.
- The UK has announced a further 170 deaths from coronavirus today on the first Sunday since draconian lockdown measures were eased. The latest figures – which bring the UK’s total to 34,636 – are the lowest number since March 24.
London’s traffic has increased by five per cent compared to this time last week, with other cities showing similar rises
In Brighton the local council was asking people to stay away from its seafront, with Carmen Appich – chairwoman of Brighton and Hove city council’s equalities, communities and culture committee – saying: ‘If thousands of people travel to our city on a sunny day and don’t or are unable to maintain safe physical distancing because of overcrowding, this increases the risk of a Covid outbreak and puts everyone at risk.’
National Park Authority chief executive Richard Leafe said: ‘For now, we’re asking people not to rush back to the Lake District – help protect our communities, the fells will still be here when this passes.
‘When the time is right, we look forward to welcoming visitors back to the Lake District and have been working with partners to put measures in place that will help keep people safe, such as new car park information and availability to help plan ahead.’
In Shropshire, Telford Police said it shut down the ‘mass gathering’ at the Granville Country Park on Saturday amid the coronavirus lockdown.
In a series of tweets, officers explained they were ‘shocked that people would care so little’ about the restrictions on social gathering, which have been in place for weeks due to the pandemic.
It comes as the UK announced a further 114 deaths from coronavirus today on the first Sunday since draconian lockdown measures were eased.
Under the new guidelines, Britons can now meet with one person from outside their immediate household so long as they are outdoors and stay two-metres apart.
‘We are attending a mass gathering/rave at the Granville park. I’m told 70 people here! We have worked so hard and sacrificed so much and this group decide it doesn’t apply. I’m shocked that people would care so little,’ a post said.
Hundreds of bikers went for a ride out through a Derbyshire village on Sunday afternoon, gathering outside a chip shop
Crowds return to the car park at Durdle Door, Dorset after enjoying the warm weather on Sunday, lockdown measures have been eased in England meaning people are allowed to travel further afield
Paths in Hampstead Heath, London, were bustling with people who took to the outdoors on the first weekend since lockdown measures were lifted
With many people expected to start returning to work tomorrow, people headed out to spots including Victoria Park on Sunday
Battersea Park continued to have crowds, throughout lockdown people have headed to the open space in London
Scots in Glasgow were out protesting lockdown measures this afternoon, Scotland is still under the Stay Home lockdown message, comapred to Stay Alert in England
People take to the beach in Brighton today following the introduction of measures to bring the country out of coronavirus lockdown
Joggers ran along a path in Battersea Park as cheerful dog walkers took advantage of the warm summer weather today
Some of Hampstead Heath’s visitors took a break by sitting on the grass by the water. It is now permitted to relax outside, as long as people remain six feet from each other
London Mayor Sadiq Khan gets in the saddle after hiking congestion charge
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has been spotted out cycling in the capital today, closely followed by his security team in a £300,000 armoured car – after commuters were last week told to ditch public transport.
Mr Khan, wearing a blue face mask and grey helmet, was seen taking advantage of the balmy weather to cycle in the capital, with the jet-black Range Rover following closely behind him.
The under-fire Mr Khan has been slammed for reducing underground services during the coronavirus pandemic and hiking the congestion charge from £11.50 to £15, putting more yet more pressure on the Tube.
Last week he unveiled his transport plan for London, which included urging people to wear masks and encouraging people not to use the tubes of buses unless they had to.
But he faced criticism on Friday after he was seen being driven to work in the Range Rover, as Tube passengers once again struggled to follow social distancing guidelines on packed carriages.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan seen out cycling with his security team and his £300,000 armoured Range Rover following from behind
His bullet-proof vehicle, decked out with under-floor blast protection, armoured glass, spike-proof tyres, a five-litre engine and an emergency escape system, is provided by Scotland Yard for his safety, a spokesperson said.
The specs: Sadiq Khan’s state-of-the-art Range Rover
Sadiq Khan’s £300,000 Range Rover is kitted out with extensive protective gear, including:
- Under-floor blast protection
- A five-litre engine for speed
- An emergency escape system
Mr Khan requires a top level police security detail because of threats to him,’ the spokesman added on Friday.
‘The Metropolitan Police provide round the clock protection for the Mayor of London. This is not a case of the Mayor having a chauffeur-driven car, either provided by City Hall or anybody else. The vehicle is there for his safety.’
The Prime Minister, in partially easing restrictions during the pandemic, had urged people to stay away from public transport, and either walk, cycle or use their cars.
But the transport network faces further chaos on Monday morning when the new congestion charge comes in forcing more people onto the tube and its reduced services.
The Mayor of London announced that from next month the daily charge, introduced by Ken Livingstone in 2003, will for the first time be imposed on weekends and extended out of rush hour from 6pm to 10pm – just hours after accepting a £1.6billion taxpayer-funded bailout.
The Mayor of London was also followed on bikes by members of his security detail in the capital this morning
Sadiq Khan, wearing a black mask, leaves his South London home as he prepares to head to work, on Friday (pictured left) and Mr Khan riding on his bike in the capital today (pictured right)
He was whisked to City Hall in a luxury Range Rover Discovery as he comes under mounting pressure over the state of London transport
Motorists in London will again have to pay the £11.50 congestion charge again from Monday, a fortnight earlier than expected, after it was suspended at the start of the lockdown to make it easier for key workers to get around.
From June 22, when the lockdown is expected to have been eased further by Boris Johnson, the daily congestion charge will rise from £11.50 to £15 – a 30 per cent hike. It will also be enforced seven days a week, and until 10pm, for the first time. NHS workers will be able to claim it back, City Hall said.
Mr Khan on Friday suggested the congestion charge announcement was imposed on him by the government because it was the ‘only deal on the table’ offered by the Department of Transport.
But a spokesman for Number 10 said that the government only asked for the reimposition of the congestion charge and ‘the details of how to do it are for TfL and the Mayor.’
The Mayor of London, who accepted a £1.1billion grant and £505million loan, said: ‘I want to be completely honest and upfront with Londoners – this is not the deal I wanted. But it was the only deal the Government put on the table and I had no choice but to accept it to keep the Tubes and buses running’.
There is anger and disbelief among Londoners who have been forced to drive to work to protect their family from coronavirus because of a lack of social distancing on public transport.
Mr Khan has also been shamed by pictures from European capitals such as Berlin, where 100% of Tube services have been running for weeks with staff on hand to give out free face masks to all passengers.
Despite Sadiq Khan urging people to stay at home and avoid the Tube, millions are returning to their workplaces (pictured in Canning Town on Friday), the Mayor of London today hiked the price of the congestion charge to £15 and extended it to weekends
Mr Khan, the son of a London bus driver, is believed to have been forced to travel by car because he is one of Britain’s most high profile Muslims which has led to threats against him.
On its website, Land Rover boasts: ‘Range Rover Sentinel is designed to face modern, unconventional forms of attack. This now includes defence against Improvised Explosive Devices.
‘Evading extreme threats at high speeds is not a challenge thanks to a specially manufactured wheel(tyre) that incorporates a run-flat system.
‘In emergencies, occupants can exit Range Rover Sentinel rapidly and securely through the armoured escape panel. Located in the rear luggage compartment, it allows for escapes even if the doors are unusable.’
A spokesman for Land Rover said last week: ‘As this is a highly bespoke model, pricing is on application to customers.’
A spokesman for the Mayor of London said on Friday: ‘The Mayor does not have a chauffeur-driven car, either provided by City Hall or anybody else.
‘The Metropolitan Police provide round the clock protection for the Mayor of London due to the heightened threat level to his safety.’
It comes after yesterday Mr Khan urged his one million followers on Twitter that they should ‘play their part’ by staying at home as much as possible.
Mr Khan’s message comes hours after the Mayor of London announced plans to make the capital Europe’s biggest car-free zone, with a map detailing how four of London’s busiest streets will be made for just pedestrians, cyclists and buses.
A map reveals the four busiest streets of London set to become car-free under new measures introduced by the Mayor of London in response to coronavirus restrictions being eased
Mr Khan told his one million Twitter followers that lockdown has not been lifted this weekend
‘LONDON: lockdown has not been lifted. People continue to die from #COVID19 every day,’ he said.
‘Please stay at home as much as possible this weekend. If you need to use public transport for essential travel, wear a non-medical face covering at all times.’
The car-free zones will see streets between London Bridge and Shoreditch, Euston and Waterloo and Old Street and Holborn limited to buses, pedestrians and cyclists.
Similar restrictions on smaller roads are being worked on between officials and London boroughs, while lorries and cars may be prohibited from London Bridge and Waterloo bridge.
With people returning to work and the need to avoid congestion on public transport, experts have warned it is crucial that walking and cycling is encouraged in order to maintain social distancing during the coronavirus crisis.
And a detailed map of the streets selected for the new measure have been revealed, showing where Londoners are able to cycle and walk as lockdown restrictions are eased in what will be Europe’s biggest car-free zone.
In an official statement made on Friday, Mr Khan said that Covid-19 presented ‘the biggest challenge to London’s public transport network in Transport for London’s history.
‘It will take a monumental effort from all Londoners to maintain safe social distancing on public transport as lockdown restrictions are gradually eased,’ he added.
‘That means we have to keep the number of people using public transport as low as possible. And we can’t see journeys formerly taken on public transport replaced with car usage because our roads would immediately become unusably blocked and toxic air pollution would soar.
‘I ask that Londoners do not use public transport unless it is absolutely unavoidable – it must be a last resort. If you can work from home you should continue to do so. We should all spend more of our leisure time in our local areas too.’
Mr Khan said that the growing number of people walking and cycling as a result of the lockdown has justified the move to widen pavements to allow more of the public to walk and cycle in the city.
‘Many Londoners have rediscovered the joys of walking and cycling during lockdown and, by quickly and cheaply widening pavements, creating temporary cycle lanes and closing roads to through traffic we will enable millions more people to change the way they get around our city,’ he said.
The statement reads that work on the proposed road closures will begin with immediate effect, while officials say the work should be completed within a six-week time frame.
‘We will need many more Londoners to walk and cycle to make this work,’ the Mayor of London continued. ‘That’s why these plans will transform parts of central London to create one of the largest car-free areas in any capital city in the world.
‘If we want to make transport in London safe, and keep London globally competitive, then we have no choice but to rapidly repurpose London’s streets for people.
‘By ensuring our city’s recovery is green, we will also tackle our toxic air which is vital to make sure we don’t replace one public health crisis with another. I urge all boroughs to work with us to make this possible.’
The Mayor of London’s latest announcement puts the UK capital among a number of cities that have set out measures to make a green and sustainable recovery from the coronavirus crisis through walking and cycling.
Paris have pledged €300m for new cycle lanes, which will run parallel to the city’s Metro network, offering commuters a viable alternative. Meanwhile, Milan have set out plans for one of the continent’s most ambitious walking and cycling schemes.
Elsewhere in Britain, the city of Manchester are set to pedestrianise areas of Deansgate in the city centre, while the Scottish government have pledged £10m towards pop-up cycling and walking routes.
Groups of people walk their dogs, cycle and jog through a scenic shaded footpath inside Hampstead Heath in London today
Children were seen flying a kite in Battersea Park on the first weekend since lockdown measures were partially relaxed by Boris Johnson
Britons woke up bright and early to hit parks and beaches across the country before temperatures soar to 70F in another scorching weekend. Pictured: Sunday revellers enjoy Branksome beach, Dorset
While crowds of people were pictured enjoying Dorset’s picturesque coastline and Londoners took to the city’s green spaces (pictured), it appears most are heeding the stark warnings to issued by rural country spots this weekend
Several tourist boards have warned that people would be turned away if they became too busy and urged visitors to be cautious and respectful of the rules (joggers in London, pictured)
One family opted for a breakfast picnic in Battersea Park, London, as a way to enjoy the early-morning sunshine
Pubs could be back in a matter of weeks
Pubs, cafes and restaurants with outdoor spaces could be allowed to reopen as market-style stalls in just weeks, as ministers plan to relax outdoor seating licences.
Businesses that hold a licence for outdoor seating will be given government guidance on how to reopen in a limited capacity from June 1, in order to bolster the hospitality industry.
While ‘blanket permission’ could be issued to businesses wanting to add seating to their premises, they currently face a cost of up to £300.
Nicholas Boys Smith, the Founding Director of Create Streets, has advised Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, to make it easier for businesses to licence outdoor seating to ease the transition back to normality, reports The Telegraph.
From July 4 small open-air weddings, conducted in socially distanced conditions in front of churches, could also be permitted as the ‘third step’ of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown.
On Friday talks with Most Rev Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and Ephraim Mirvis, the Chief Rabbi, saw government lay out plans to allow private prayer in places of worship from July, reports The Telegraph.
The PM revealed in a public address to the nation on Sunday night that some hospitality businesses could reopen on July 1, if they can create a socially distant environment in their establishment.
According to a poll conducted by the RAC, around 15 million leisure trips are supposed to be being made this weekend. The survey of 1,317 drivers indicates that nearly half of the journeys that are being made by cars will be 10 miles long, while 11 per cent of drivers polled are travelling only up to 30 miles to find a beach.
The poll also suggests that one in five drivers will drive up to 10 miles to reach their destinations, with 6 per cent travelling 30 miles to get to a park. Five per cent said they expect to drive more than 30 miles for recreation.
But a small minority are travelling further afield now they are able to, with disastrous consequences.
Visitors to the Derbyshire Dales have been slammed for their ‘unacceptable behaviour’ after using streets and open spaces as toilets.
Daytrippers flocked to picturesque areas such as Bakewell despite pleas from councils and local residents not to.
While many car parks re-opened at the weekend, most facilities – including public toilets – remain closed due to Covid-19.
According to Derbyshire Dales District Council, visitors responded to the lack of toilet facilities by relieving themselves in the streets.
A council spokesman said: ‘We appealed to visitors to stay away but our usual hotspots are busy. We also made it clear most facilities – including toilets – remain closed. Sadly we’re getting reports of people using streets as a toilet. Don’t.’
Police condemned the behaviour as ‘unacceptable’ and ‘having a hugely detrimental impact on the lives of people who live there.’
The National Trust, which oversees 500 historic houses, castles, parks and gardens in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, will reopen its big car parks next week after opening 250 smaller ones this week.
Hilary McGrady, its director general, said that it was taking ‘baby steps’ to reopen its properties, but urged people to enjoy local attractions instead of travelling long distances this weekend.
‘There are lots of beautiful green spaces close to people, within a half-hour drive time, but this is about respect and people taking care of themselves and care of each other,’ she said.
North Yorkshire Moors tweeted to visitors today asking them to stay away.
Its tweet on Sunday morning read: ‘If you’re thinking of heading to Newton under Roseberry or Sheep wahs Cod beck today, please think about going elsewhere or exercise locally.
‘These are very popular spots which means it’s difficult to social distance to keep you and everyone else safe.’
Downs Link in Shoreham is fairly busy, with Shorham By Cycle group warning social distancing would be ‘quite difficult’ for visitors.
Traffic in Brighton has increased by more than five per cent compared to a week ago, similar to London.
In Manchester traffic has risen by three per cent, according to TomTom.
Police were out patrolling Hyde Park on Sunday as Brits enjoyed more May sunshine as lockdown measures eased
Several groups were seen strolling along the scenic clifftops on the south coast beauty spot as a coastguard passed by
Many visitors wore backpacks as they made their way along the clifftop amid warm temperatures across the weekend – which are expected to continue to climb throughout the week
Gulls fly above a couple as they walk to the cliff edge at Beachy Head today, as temperatures hit 20C ahead of a forecast heatwave this week
Cars are seen parked in bays near to the cliff-top above a red-and-white striped lighthouse at Beachy Head, Eastbourne today
In Wimbledon Common, London, people were seen walking in the bright sunshine on the first weekend since lockdown measures were partially lifted
Members of the Marlow Rowing Club take to the River Thames at Marlow, Buckinghamshire, after some lockdown restrictions were lifted this week
People walked, jogged, cycled and even rode their horses through Wimbledon Common in the sunshine today
In Battersea Park, visitors were pictured waving at one another from a safe six-feet away as they enjoyed the sunshine
A young man jumps over a fence in Battersea Park today as two police officers wait on the other side next to their parked van
A few brave Britons even took a dip in the sea as they enjoyed the soaring temperatures on the beach in Brighton this morning
Many of those lounging on the grass in Battersea Park were taking a break from their cycle route amid the growing temperature
Some couples came equipped with picnic blankets as they enjoyed the spring sun after a much colder week in the UK
The bustling park was packed with people keeping their distance as they walked their dogs and exercised in the green space
A man and his child feed pigeons in Battersea Park, London in Britain’s first Sunday since lockdown restrictions were eased
Visitors on the beach at the seaside resort of West Bay in Dorset on a day of hot sunshine on the first weekend after the coronavirus lockdown restrictions were eased
Britons kept their distance from each other as they strolled along the beach in groups, some walking their dogs this morning
People sunbathe on the beach in Brighton as gulls fly overhead as the country enjoys its first Sunday under eased restrictions
Police patrol the promenade in Brighton as visitors wear face masks to protect themselves from coronavirus this morning
Two girls were pictured walking through Battersea Park. Under new guidelines, two people from different households are able to meet up with each other as long as they are in an outdoor space and are six-feet apart
Runners were pictured speeding through Wimbledon Common in London as they enjoyed the bright sunshine and warm weather
Hampstead Heath was bustling with visitors this morning as many took advantage of the relaxed lockdown rules to travel further afield
Many hired bikes as a form of exercise while others took to scooters and rollerblades to zip around Battersea Park
Dogwalkers took advantage of the peaceful and serene Branksome Beach, Dorset, to take a stroll
Police are patrolling Brighton beach as visitors take advantage of warmer weather on the first weekend since lockdown measures were eased to allow people out of the home to sunbathe or visit public spaces
Park visitors jogged, walked and cycled in Battersea, London. One man takes a break by sitting on a bench
A family pause their bike ride to greet the wildlife in Battersea Park today on Britain’s first Sunday since lockdown restrictions were eased
Many Londoners took advantage of the warmer weather to explore Battersea Park in London on bike and on foot
King’s Parade in Cambridge was bustling with walkers and cyclists this morning as Britons took advantage of the warm weather
The weather is set to stay mostly warm and sunny for the next few days, leading to concerns that Britons will flock to rural areas
A man practices his cricket technique in Southwark Park this morning. This is the first weekend since lockdown has been eased
A man walks his dog along the beach in Dorset. Temperatures are set to soar to 70F today in another scorching weekend
Branksome Beach, Dorset, was a popular spot for Britons to enjoy the early Sunday sunshine this morning
A man jogs along the promenade at Branksome beach, Dorset. People are no longer restricted to one outdoor exercise a day
One brave woman donned a swimsuit to take a dip off the coast of Dorset. While weather is warmer than usual, the sea is still likely to be freezing
One brave outdoorsman pulled on a wet suit to paddleboard off the coast of Dorset as a more unusual form of exercise
Two women were seen jogging in Southwark Park near to a sign telling them they must remain two metres apart
A jogger could be seen reading a sign put up in Southwark Park, London, instructing visitors to stay two metres apart from each other
A woman and a child could be seen cycling through Southwark Park, London, while enjoying the sunshine this morning
Branksome Beach, Dorset, had plenty visitors looking to enjoy the sunshine and warmer weather while they exercise
Another rower in Chiswick took to the Thames in a more unusual vessel to enjoy the warm spring sunshine today