LONDON - Sunseekers are flocking to Britain’s beaches for a second day in a row despite warnings yesterday that people should stay away because of the risk of spreading coronavirus. Record numbers headed to the coastlines on what was the hottest August day for 17 years, prompting councils to warn social distancing wasn’t possible in the busiest spots. With temperatures again predicted to hit the mid-30s today, several beaches in Bournemouth were already under red alert by midday – according to an app developed by the council. Some groups even choose to camp on the beach overnight in order to secure a prime position on the sand.
Friday saw temperatures of 36.4C at Heathrow and Kew Gardens, which prompted thousands to head for the coast, with images of packed beaches, traffic jams and full car parks shared widely on social media. By Friday afternoon, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council’s beach check app warned people to avoid 19 of its 24 beaches as they were too busy. The rest were listed as congested. Angry locals criticised tourists for dumping their rubbish, illegally parking and putting pressure on emergency services. There were similar scenes in Margate and Broadstairs in Kent, where the local district council warned visitors to go elsewhere. Some decided to camp on Bournemouth beach overnight to get a good spot.(FA)