Councils beg staycationers heading to the coast to soak up today’s 95F sun elsewhere


Crowds of sun-seekers made an early trip to the coast this morning, with some even spending the night in tents, in anticipation of another sizzling day on Britain’s beaches – despite councils begging tourists to steer clear following yesterday’s ‘bedlam’.

Record numbers packed the seafront on Friday, despite Government warnings, and with little signs of social distancing, on what was the UK’s hottest August day since 2003.  

Staycationers in Bournemouth were this morning seen emerging from tents they’d set up overnight to try and secure the best spots, while Sussex Police turned away cars from a full Camber Sands beach as early as 10am.

Yesterday saw 19 of 24 beaches along a stretch of the Dorset coast full up by midday, at which time there had already been 70 coastguard callouts across the UK. 

With the mercury set to rise to 95F today, and the RAC expecting the busiest weekend of the year, local authorities are urging people to stay away and avoid a repeat of yesterday’s crowds, where many appeared unbothered by fears of coronavirus as groups mixed without masks – despite rising cases in the UK driving fears of a second wave.

It comes amid a plea for ‘bold’ young people to continue following social distancing rules as fears grow that they are catching the virus without knowing and passing it on to other members of their household. 

Dylan Bullard, a councillor from Pwllheli, North Wales, told the Telegraph the town was a scene of ‘bedlam’ yesterday.

He added: ‘If you’re thinking of coming into town, please consider leaving it to later. The car parks are full and cars are parked illegally. Social distancing is impossible at the moment, and people are queuing to get into shops.’

Meanwhile, the Local Government Association is calling for councils to be given more powers to shut down rule-breaking pubs nationwide, with revellers expected to pack into venues up and down the country once again later today. 

Crowds have already started gathering on Bournemouth beach this morning ahead of another day of sizzling temperatures

A couple of young sun-seekers enjoy an early morning splash in the sea at Bournemouth beach before the arrival of big crowds

A couple of young sun-seekers enjoy an early morning splash in the sea at Bournemouth beach before the arrival of big crowds

Sussex Police turned away cars from a full Camber Sands beach as early as 10am this morning, with 95F temperatures set to hit later on

Sussex Police turned away cars from a full Camber Sands beach as early as 10am this morning, with 95F temperatures set to hit later on

A group of girls armed with parasols and snacks make their way down to the seafront in Bournemouth this morning

A group of girls armed with parasols and snacks make their way down to the seafront in Bournemouth this morning

Groups of friends arrived in Bournemouth at the crack of dawn this morning in anticipation of another sizzling hot day on the beach

Groups of friends arrived in Bournemouth at the crack of dawn this morning in anticipation of another sizzling hot day on the beach

Many visitors arrived ready to hit the sea, with temperatures set to soar to 95F today after another hot day across the UK yesterday

Many visitors arrived ready to hit the sea, with temperatures set to soar to 95F today after another hot day across the UK yesterday

Some visitors had planned ahead and set up tents for the night to ensure they had secured a spot ready for this afternoon

Some visitors had planned ahead and set up tents for the night to ensure they had secured a spot ready for this afternoon

Sun-seekers have spent the night in tents on Britain's beaches while many others have already made their way to the coast to soak up today's heat

Sun-seekers have spent the night in tents on Britain’s beaches while many others have already made their way to the coast to soak up today’s heat

Staycationers in Bournemouth were this morning seen emerging from tents they'd set up overnight to try and secure the best spots on what is expected to be another busy day on the beach

Staycationers in Bournemouth were this morning seen emerging from tents they’d set up overnight to try and secure the best spots on what is expected to be another busy day on the beach

Visitors to Bournemouth beach had set up camp nice and early to ensure they got the best spot ahead of another expected rush of crowds

Visitors to Bournemouth beach had set up camp nice and early to ensure they got the best spot ahead of another expected rush of crowds

Beach-goers made their way to the seafront in the early hours of this morning to try and beat the crowds expected to descend later

Beach-goers made their way to the seafront in the early hours of this morning to try and beat the crowds expected to descend later

Families made their way down the steps to the beach in Bournemouth this morning ahead of what is expected to be another extremely busy day

Lines of sunbathers and parasols filled the beaches in Dorset, pictured, yesterday on another scorching hot day, with temperatures set to hit 90F again today

Visitors arrived in Bournemouth as early as 3am yesterday to try and secure the best spots, with 19 of 24 beaches along that stretch of the Dorset coast full up by midday

Visitors arrived in Bournemouth as early as 3am yesterday to try and secure the best spots, with 19 of 24 beaches along that stretch of the Dorset coast full up by midday

Revellers last night appeared unworried by coronavirus fears, despite cases in the UK rising steadily in the last month amid fears of a second wave

Revellers last night appeared unworried by coronavirus fears, despite cases in the UK rising steadily in the last month amid fears of a second wave

A group of girls from Stourbridge, West Midlands, pose for a picture on New Street in Birmingham city centre as they start their night out to celebrate a birthday

A group of girls from Stourbridge, West Midlands, pose for a picture on New Street in Birmingham city centre as they start their night out to celebrate a birthday

Two women enjoying drinks in Soho, London last night. Bars, beer gardens and terraces were filled in the capital with drinkers this evening

Two women enjoying drinks in Soho, London last night. Bars, beer gardens and terraces were filled in the capital with drinkers this evening

Facemasks were nowhere to be seen as drinkers came together last night, with fears the scenes could be repeated over the weekend

Facemasks were nowhere to be seen as drinkers came together last night, with fears the scenes could be repeated over the weekend

People enjoying a drink in Borough Market near London Bridge yesterday after a day of scorching hot temperatures hit the capital

People enjoying a drink in Borough Market near London Bridge yesterday after a day of scorching hot temperatures hit the capital

RNLI Lifeguards look out over the beach as people enjoy the hot weather at Bournemouth beach in Dorset yesterday afternoon

RNLI Lifeguards look out over the beach as people enjoy the hot weather at Bournemouth beach in Dorset yesterday afternoon

A man jumps from the jetty into the sea in Brighton, on the south coast of England, yesterday as the temperature rose

A man jumps from the jetty into the sea in Brighton, on the south coast of England, yesterday as the temperature rose

People enjoy the hot weather on the banks of the River Lea in east London, where the mercury hit the highest since 2003

People enjoy the hot weather on the banks of the River Lea in east London, where the mercury hit the highest since 2003

A parks police car patrols by sunbathers on Hampstead Heath yesterday as the temperature soared again in London

A parks police car patrols by sunbathers on Hampstead Heath yesterday as the temperature soared again in London

A queue of girls, one celebrating her 18th birthday, outside Dirty Martini bar on Bennetts Hill in Birmingham city centre as revellers enjoy the hot weather on Friday night

A queue of girls, one celebrating her 18th birthday, outside Dirty Martini bar on Bennetts Hill in Birmingham city centre as revellers enjoy the hot weather on Friday night

Revellers queued in large numbers to enter the recently-reopened Astoria nightclub in Portsmouth, Hampshire yesterday

Revellers queued in large numbers to enter the recently-reopened Astoria nightclub in Portsmouth, Hampshire yesterday 

The 700-mile-wide 'Saharan blowtorch' of hot air will again see temperatures soar across the UK throughout the weekend

The 700-mile-wide ‘Saharan blowtorch’ of hot air will again see temperatures soar across the UK throughout the weekend

Temperatures will remain high into the 30s across the south of England on Saturday with more sunshine on Sunday before clouds roll in on Monday with the potential for storms later in the week

Temperatures will remain high into the 30s across the south of England on Saturday with more sunshine on Sunday before clouds roll in on Monday with the potential for storms later in the week

LGA calls for councils to be given more powers to shut down pubs not following the rules

Licensing laws currently do not allow councils to take action on public health grounds, such as where Covid-19 guidelines are not being followed, instead relying on general health and safety legislation, which is less specific and makes it harder to intervene.

The LGA, which represents councils in England and Wales, wants to see the introduction of a temporary public health or Covid-19 objective, allowing town halls to take action where premises are not protecting the public during the pandemic – such as collecting people’s contact details or maintaining social distancing.

Current government guidance says pubs are only asked to voluntarily roll out such rules, but the LGA insists it should be made mandatory and legally enforceable.  

It says most are working hard to comply with the guidance but councils have concerns that some pubs are not collecting contact details of customers so they can be reached in the event of a local outbreak.

Local authorities have recently been given powers to close premises, but these can only be used where there is already a serious and imminent risk to public health. 

The LGA says extending licensing powers would mean they can act quickly and proactively in cracking down on places that flout the guidance, to prevent problems in the first place instead of only being able to act when it is too late.

It says the sanctions available under the Licensing Act – such as requiring a business to apply new conditions to operate safely, or in the worst cases revoking a licence – would be better suited to preventing the risk of infection spreading than the tools available under health and safety laws.

Thanet District Council in Kent also saw its popular beaches including Main Sands in Margate and Joss Bay in Broadstairs, wearing capacity by mid-afternoon, prompting leaders District Council to urge visitors to consider alternatives.

A council-run app in Dorset showed how beaches including Sandbanks were packed by 10.30am and listed areas under ‘avoid, social distancing not possible’. 

Angry locals in Bournemouth also hit out at tourists ‘heading here with cars full of rubbish to dump on our beaches’ and slammed ‘careless idiots’ putting pressure on the emergency services, while in Northumberland, there were even reports of vehicles blocking emergency access to beaches. 

As temperatures cooled slightly into the evening, revellers crowded into bars and poured out into the streets, with many still foregoing face coverings and ignoring social distancing measures into the early hours. 

It came after Preston’s director of public health warned mixing in pubs was to blame for the area being put back into lockdown, with almost half of the area’s new cases reported were among people aged 30 and younger.

The city council’s chief executive Adrian Phillips pleaded with young people to continue following the guidance and not risk infecting others.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘I know our director of public health has said ‘don’t kill granny’ to young people to try and focus the message.

‘Young people are inevitably among the brave and the bold, they want to be adventurous and out and about but we know that they have the virus, are more likely to at the moment, they often have less symptoms but they do take it back to their household and the community spread we are seeing we believe in many cases are young people taking it home and catching the virus.

‘We’re going to have to repeat it and whether Radio 4 is the correct channel for that I’m not quite sure but we’re using multiple channels and we’re working with community groups who are doing peer to peer comms around.

‘It’s just trying so many different ways to get the message to all communities, to all areas of our city that the virus is still something to be really wary of.’

He also backed the LGA’s call for councils to have greater powers to close pubs to slow the spread of the pandemic.

‘You need responsive powers,’ he said. ‘It is useful to have something that can move quickly and we can make it entirely clear to the licensee or the operator what the consequences are.’

Licensing laws currently do not allow councils to take action on public health grounds, such as where Covid-19 guidelines are not being followed, instead relying on general health and safety legislation, which is less specific and makes it harder to intervene.

The LGA, which represents councils in England and Wales, wants to see the introduction of a temporary public health or Covid-19 objective, allowing town halls to take action where premises are not protecting the public during the pandemic – such as collecting people’s contact details or maintaining social distancing.

Current government guidance says pubs are only asked to voluntarily roll out such rules, but the LGA insists it should be made mandatory and legally enforceable.  

It says most are working hard to comply with the guidance but councils have concerns that some pubs are not collecting contact details of customers so they can be reached in the event of a local outbreak.

Britain yesterday recorded another 871 Covid-19 cases as official data shows the number of people getting diagnosed with the life-threatening disease each day has dropped for the first time in a fortnight.

Department of Health statistics reveal 834 new infections are being registered each day — down slightly from the rolling seven-day average of 835 yesterday. But the number of patients testing positive daily is still much higher than the four-month low figure of 546 on July 8.

Cases have steadily risen since over the past month, fuelling fears of a second wave. But separate figures released yesterday suggested the number of people getting infected with coronavirus in England may have actually dropped 12 per cent in a week. 

The Office for National Statistics (ONS), which tracks the size of the outbreak through swab tests of thousands of people, now believes there are 3,700 people in England catching Covid-19 each day. Its estimate of 4,200 daily cases last week prompted Boris Johnson to declare he was ‘squeezing the brake pedal’ on easing the coronavirus lockdown. 

The Office for National Statistics (ONS), which tracks the size of the outbreak by swabbing thousands of people, now believes there are 3,700 people in England getting infected with Covid-19 each day. It is 12 per cent down on the 4,200 made in the government-run agency's estimate last week, when they warned there was 'enough evidence' to prove cases were spiralling

The Office for National Statistics (ONS), which tracks the size of the outbreak by swabbing thousands of people, now believes there are 3,700 people in England getting infected with Covid-19 each day. It is 12 per cent down on the 4,200 made in the government-run agency’s estimate last week, when they warned there was ‘enough evidence’ to prove cases were spiralling

Government scientific advisers yesterday warned the coronavirus reproduction rate could now be as high as one right across the UK. SAGE estimates the R value – the average number of people each Covid-19 patient infects – is now between 0.8 and 1.0, up from last week’s prediction that it was hovering around 0.8 and 0.9. 

Experts say the R needs to stay below one or Governments risk losing control of the epidemic and the virus could spiral back out of control.

Travel chaos is expected this weekend as The AA said it anticipates up to 10 per cent more journeys being made.

It warned drivers to expect queues building near coastal locations, particularly in popular seaside destinations in south-west England, Blackpool, the Welsh coast and Norfolk.

Ben Sheridan, from The AA, said: ‘Motorways, coastal routes and roads to ferry crossings are likely to be busy.

‘Many drivers will be hitting the road early to beat the heat, while others will stay home to stay cool.’

RAC Breakdown said it is expecting this weekend to be the busiest of the year for the company, as traffic jams and long delays look ‘inevitable’.

Drivers are being urged to check the oil and coolant levels in their vehicles to avoid breakdowns in the sweltering heat, as well as making sure tyres are pumped up to the correct pressures and have good tread.

RAC spokesman Simon Williams said: ‘It’s also important to have plenty of water and food in case drivers find themselves stuck for long periods.

‘We’d also remind people never to leave young children or animals in parked cars in high temperatures.’

Delays and cancellations are likely for rail passengers, as high temperatures can damage overhead wires and lead to speed restrictions due to fears of tracks buckling. 

HM Coastguard warned people to stay safe on the beach after rescue teams responded to 70 callouts across the UK by midday today – ‘above average for this time of year’, one week after its busiest day for more than four years.  

The very hot conditions, which have been caused by air warming up over France before being drawn north, have led to health warnings. 

Britain has never recorded two days with temperatures over 99F (37C) in the same year since records began.

Parts of the South of England are even expected to be hotter than the Caribbean, with highs of 91F (33C) in Jamaica and 84F (29C) Barbados.

The Met Office has also issued a level-three heat health alert which warns Britons to look out for the elderly, vulnerable and young children.



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