Sunseekers accused of treating lockdown like a 'national jolly' as thousands flock to the beach

SUNSEEKERS flocking to parks and beaches have been accused of treating lockdown like a "national jolly".

The combination of a Bank Holiday weekend, the start of half-term and temperatures hitting 22C have seen thousands of sun worshippers making the most the warm weather.

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Councillors have blasted those heading to the beaches and parks as there are fears of overcrowding this Bank Holiday weekend making it impossible for the public to obey social distancing rules.

Councillor Matt Dent from Southend said a small group of of people were treating lockdown like "some sort of national jolly rather than a deadly pandemic".

He told the Daily Mail: "The more I see of this, the more I fear we're in for a second wave.

"It isn't Southenders, it's people travelling from outside the borough – as far away as Manchester – who seem to think lockdown if lifted, and Covid-19 is no longer a threat."

The decision to not open car parks in Wollacombe, North Devon led to more than park tickets being issued and gridlock traffic in the village.

A business owner branded the out-of-town visitors as "idiots" an said: "What are people not getting? This is not a holiday, this is serious."

The most recent lockdown measures that were eased now allow people in England to enjoy unlimited exercise outdoors and to sunbathe.

Since the start of the outbreak, 11million Brits have been furloughed and the Government scheme pays 80 per cent of their wages if they are unable to work.

As of last week, Brits have been told that if they are able to go back to work then they should do so.

Over the recent snap of hot weather, the UK's beaches and beauty spots were flooded with families and friends enjoying the unlimited sunshine after Boris Johnson abandoned the one hour of outdoor exercise restriction.

Last night, police chiefs said that people were becoming blase about social distancing as the health secretary pleaded with Brits to be sensible this weekend.

Speaking at the Downing Street press conference, Matt Hancock said: "Let's not go back to square one.

"We can all play our part in the national effort."

A senior police chief said that the guidance was to stay two metres apart and meet only one other person was being ignored since the slight lifting of lockdown rules in the country.

Speaking to The Times, a chief constable said: "I think people no longer understand what they can do, or they think it is no longer important."

Another senior officer said there was "no doubt at all" that Brits had started to relax and the guidance around meeting one person from outside the household was "forgotten shortly after the words were spoken."


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