Crowds ignore top scientist’s warning to lap up sunshine at parks and beaches

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Brits ignored lockdown restrictions as they gathered at parks and beaches on Saturday to bask in some much-missed sunshine.

Photographs from the afternoon at popular sea side destinations, Brighton and Southend-on-Sea show crowds walking and sitting down close together on February 27, despite the Government's "stay at home" order.

The warmer weather of 15C in some areas was too much to resist for many after Professor Jonathan Van-Tam's warning at a No10 press conference that lockdown could be extended if people "relax" too much.

Prof Van-Tam compared the UK's war with Covid-19 to being 3-0 up in a football match but still being able to lose 4-3.

Optimism for a summer of boozy park picnics following Prime Minister Boris Johnson's roadmap announcement on Monday, looks to already be in full swing for swathes of the public.

Among his step by step calendar for the easing of lockdown restrictions, the PM laid out plans for beer gardens to open on April 12 with all social restrictions abandoned from June 21.

This will depend entirely on the continued success of the vaccine roll out and England's rate of infection.

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Under current Government guidelines, people can only leave their home for essential shopping and exercise, the latter of which they can do with one person from another household.

But snaps from parts of the nation reveal people are starting to lose patience with the strict measures.

It came as Sussex Police, who monitor the popular beach at Brighton, warned: "Don’t stop now!"

The force tweeted: "There are concerns that after a long year of restrictions, falling infection rates, the vaccine rollout, better weather and the roadmap out of lockdown earlier this week, that people may get complacent.

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"But the rule of 6 or 2 families doesn't begin until March 29."

On February 26, Prof Van-Tam said: "Please don’t be tempted to think: 'Well, one home visit might be all right now, weather ’s getting better, going to be a nice weekend'.

"One small gathering in your house won’t really matter'. I’m afraid it does. There are some worry signs that people are relaxing, taking their foot off the brake at exactly the wrong time.

"It’s a bit like being 3-0 up in a game and thinking ‘we can’t possibly lose’. But how many times have you seen the other side take it 4-3?

“Do not wreck this now. It is too early to relax. Just continue to maintain discipline and hang on just a few more months. Do not wreck this now. We are so close.”

  • Lockdown
  • Weather Forecast
  • UK Weather
  • Coronavirus

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