Last week, Boris Johnson and the UK Government urged Britons to remain at home or at least be two metres away from others if they do leave the house. But just hours later, millions of people ignored this advice, with thousands flocking in particular to the popular Brighton beach to enjoy the warm spring sunshine. On Monday, the Prime Minister enforced strict lockdown measures on the UK. Police have been granted new powers to issue fines of £60 or even arrest those breaking these new rules.
Health authorities have announced today a further 113 people have died in the UK from coronavirus over the past 24-hours sending the death toll surging to 578.
It is one of the largest increases in coronavirus deaths since the oubreak began.
A total of 104,866 people have been tested for COVID-19: 93,208 negative and 11,658 positive.
But there are fears that with schools now closed and children permanently at home, the lockdown measures may already be getting the better of people, who will see the weekend as an opportunity to again visit popular seaside towns.
Brighton & Hove City Council leader Nancy Platts told Express.co.uk: “We will always welcome people to Brighton but we are telling them not to visit this weekend.
“We saw huge numbers of visitors, especially to the beach, last weekend.
“It is vitally important we follow the lockdown and social distancing rules, but that will be impossible if so many people visit Brighton.
“I will place police at the main train station this weekend and they will be turned away if they don’t have a good reason to visit Brighton.
“But when I walked down there earlier today, there were only a handful of people around, making sure they were a large step away from others.
“Britons had not fully understood the messages being voiced by the Government around how easily coronavirus is transmitted. It has taken tome to get that message across.
“That message is getting through and there has been a significant change in behaviour.
But Ms Platts urged the country not to let the increased effort and hard work to go to waste this weekend.
She said: “The weather is getting hotter, the sun is shining more and the days are getting longer, so there is an obvious temptation to flock to the beach.
“The lockdown message has started to hit home but we can’t allow all that hard work to unravel this weekend.
“We need to protect our incredible NHS and give the country a fighting change of beating coronavirus.”