Photographs Show Brits Flocking To Tourist Hotspots In Spite Of Social Distancing Warnings
Beaches and countryside hot-spots have been overrun with Brits this bank holiday, who have once again ignored advice to stay indoors where possible and avoid large gatherings.
Photos have emerged showing hundreds gathering in close proximity in public spaces, although the official message from the government is still to stay at home where possible and to always stay 2m away from people from different households. Some councils have also asked daytrippers to stay away.
Surfers, swimmers and sunbathers can all be seen on a crowded Bournemouth beach, while photos of beauty spots around the country have huge queues for car parks and with swarms of walkers on paths.
Social distancing measures also seemed to be ignored in the Peak District. Local police, who had asked people to stay away from the area, have been ignored, with the public enjoying the eased lockdown rules.
In the run-up to this weekend, Chief Inspector for Staffordshire Moorlands Mark Thorley said: "A number of issues were raised last weekend with many coming for a day out in the Moorlands. I am working with partners to make sure this weekend is safe for those coming whilst not causing unnecessary distress to the local community. There are few car parks and no toilets!"
The government had warned against unnecessary travel before the bank holiday weekend, but had replaced their clear 'stay at home' messaging, with the more ambiguous phrase 'stay alert'.
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Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned that we risk going 'back to square one' if people bend the existing lockdown rules over the bank holiday weekend, a message re-emphasised by Downing Street.
Boris Johnson's official spokesperson said: "Anecdotal evidence suggests the vast majority of the public are following the rules.
"As we head into the long weekend, we must all renew our efforts and continue to abide by the social distancing rules.
"As the Health Secretary said, let's not go back to square one. The PM certainly echoes those words."
It's one of a few bank holidays in a row that have fallen during coronavirus lockdown. Leaders of the UK's tourism industry want to bring in an extra bank holiday close to the October half term, in order to give ordinary folk a bit of extra time off work after missing out.
Patricia Yates, the head of Visit Britain, told MPs that doing so could give the UK's tourist sector a much-needed shot in the arm and help to extend the holiday season beyond August to maximise revenue.
Speaking to the Digital, Media, Culture and Sport Committee, Ms Yates said: "The idea that we could possibly have a bank holiday in October, because the industry has lost the benefit of the two May bank holidays, I think that's an idea being considered.
"What we're going to need to do is not just stimulate people in July and August to really extend the season for the domestic market."
Featured Image Credit: Bournemouth News