Thousands of people in the UK used the hottest day of the year as a reason for soaking up some sun at the beach, despite social distancing laws still being in effect.
While lockdown measures have been eased slightly in England, the government have stressed that social distancing must still be practiced outdoors when with members of your own household. At least I think that’s what the rules are, it’s all very complicated and no one from the British government has explained it particularly well.
Either way, the pictures of thousands of people piled onto beaches in Southend, Devon and Dorset don’t exactly do anything to boost confidence that a second wave of Coronavirus isn’t right around the corner.
Death and infection rates have plummeted in recent weeks across the United Kingdom, with hospitalisations also way down from their peak levels in early April.
Southend Councillor Martin Terry said of the situation, “It’s a massive challenge. We know that people aren’t going overseas at the moment and with weather like this we know people are going to visit.
“We’ve got a campaign called stay safe, stay apart, that’s working. If it becomes dangerous we will have to close the sea front but that would be a last resort. We are in uncharted waters.”
In Devon, 55-year-old Richard Walden took a picture of the masses that had gathered on Saunton Sands beach, and said to the Daily Mail, “It is unbelievable the amount of thoughtless visitors we have had, parking illegally and causing the roads to be blocked and preventing use of the footpath. They blocked the whole footpath. There is no way a fire engine or ambulance could get down that.
“It is totally senseless. People sadly haven’t heeded the warnings, especially the ones from the lifeguard and RNLI. There was a big powerful surf out there today but no lifeguards. If anyone gets into trouble, they are on their own.
“Living in a seaside resort you are used to having lots of visitors, but it is unwise to come today. No car parks are open, no shops and there is nowhere to go to the toilet.
“It was unbelievably selfish. People started arriving at 5am and last night we had vans outside our house until 11pm. They are not just casual visitors.”
The UK is currently in possession of the second highest COVID-19 death toll in the world, behind the United States, with 35,704 deaths confirmed at the time of writing and 248,000 cases confirmed overall.