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Public sunbathing banned in lockdown, says Health Secretary

The UK’s second weekend in lockdown is predicted to be the warmest in six months.

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A police community support officer chats with a member of the public on Brighton beach (Andrew Matthews/PA)

A police community support officer chats with a member of the public on Brighton beach (Andrew Matthews/PA)

A police community support officer chats with a member of the public on Brighton beach (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Public sunbathing is not allowed in lockdown, the Health Secretary has said after people were pictured flouting coronavirus rules.

The UK’s second weekend in lockdown is predicted to be the warmest in six months.

Matt Hancock told Sophy Ridge On Sunday: “Sunbathing is against the rules that have been set out for important public health reasons.”

He warned rulebreakers: “You are putting others’ lives at risk and you are putting yourself in harm’s way.”

One London park has been forced to close today after thousands of people ignored “stay-at-home” guidance and enjoyed the sunshine or met friends.

Brockwell Park in Lambeth locked its gates indefinitely after 3,000 people visited on Saturday, “many of them sunbathing or in large groups”.

The council called the rulebreakers “unacceptable” and apologised for the closure, adding: “A minority of people have not followed the guidance – regrettably we have to act.”

There were similar scenes on Primrose Hill in Camden, where police moved on more than 100 people who were picnicking or had met with friends.

Rulebreakers were also spotted on the south coast, and two people will now face the courts after a having a barbecue on a beach in Hove.

Sussex Police tweeted that they were “disappointed” in those caught, but said: “Thank you to everyone that stayed away from beauty spots and beaches today.

“We know it isn’t easy.”

Newly elected Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner said, “it’s all right for people who have got big houses and huge back gardens” to tell sunbathers observing social distancing to stop doing so.

Speaking to Sky News’s Sophie Ridge On Sunday show, Ms Rayner said: “It’s all right for people who have got big houses and huge back gardens to say that.

“But actually if you’re stuck in inadequate accommodation, you’ve got no back garden, you’ve got nowhere to go and you’re all on top of each other, quite literally, then I think people should do social distancing and should keep their distance but also be reasonable and proportionate about that.”

On Saturday, Cabinet minister Michael Gove said there was evidence that young people were not taking social distancing measures as seriously as others.

Speaking at the daily coronavirus briefing, Mr Gove said: “There has been evidence that for some young people, there has been a lower level of compliance.”

He added: “It may be that young people feel that they are less likely to be affected and less likely to be infected.”

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Cyclists and walkers in Bushy Park in London as the UK continues in lockdown (Victoria Jones/PA)

Cyclists and walkers in Bushy Park in London as the UK continues in lockdown (Victoria Jones/PA)

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Cyclists and walkers in Bushy Park in London as the UK continues in lockdown (Victoria Jones/PA)

Met Office meteorologist Steven Keates said Sunday will be “a beautiful spring day” with “blue skies and sunshine for much of the day for much of the UK”.

He predicted some parts of the UK “could be seeing 20-21C”, which would be “the first time we’ve reached over 20 since October 1 last year”.

PA