BRITS have flocked to beaches and parks today – despite cops imposing Asbo-style bans on cities and town centres to control the Easter crowds.
The new rules mean that anyone older than 10 engaging in “anti-social behaviour” can be banned from an area for up to two days.
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Brits hit the beach in Brighton to meet up with friends on Good FridayCredit: David McHugh / Brighton Pictures
People on the sand in Bournemouth head for the waterCredit: w8media
Four friends after a dip in the seaCredit: w8media
Groups sat on the pebbles on the south coast to enjoy the last of the mild weatherCredit: David McHugh / Brighton Pictures
Cops will also be able to confiscate booze.
Anyone who breaks the order by refusing to move on or coming back before they’re allowed can be jailed for up to three months.
Rule-breakers can also be fined £2,500.
In Manchester there is a blanket 48-hour “disposal order” for the whole city centre – lasting until 3pm tomorrow – after hundreds gathered for an illegal rave on Wednesday night, breaking strict Covid restrictions.
A “dispersal order” has been introduced in Nottingham after a large group of boozy students brawled and were caught weeing in park bushes at the Arboretum on the first day of lockdown easing.
Similar rules are in place in areas of Leeds, in Shrewsbury town centre and in large parts of Leigh-on-Sea, Essex to stop crowds meeting.
Crowds have been enjoying the tail-end of the mini heatwave outdoors across the country.
Parks, beaches and beauty spots have been packed full of sunseekers as temperatures remain mild.
But speaking in a video on social media this morning, the PM issued a warning to anyone planning to see loved ones for the first time in months over Easter.
He said the country is “not yet” at the stage where families and friends can meet inside, even if they have been vaccinated.
Mr Johnson added: “We’re very much in a world where you can meet friends and family outdoors under the rule of six or two households.
“And even though friends and family members may be vaccinated, the vaccines are not giving 100 per cent protection and that’s why we just need to be cautious.
“We don’t think they entirely reduce or remove the risk of transmission.”
Police officers confiscate alcohol at the Forest Recreation Ground in NottinghamCredit: PA
Boris Johnson urged Brits to meet only outdoors over the Easter weekendCredit: @BorisJohnson/Twitter
Families flock to the picturesque beach at the seaside resort of Lyme Regis on Good FridayCredit: Alamy
Paddle boarders in Portobello, EdinburghCredit: Alamy
A couple of boxers enjoying the warm weather in BournemouthCredit: w8media
Londoners enjoying the sunshine in Battersea ParkCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd
His warning comes as Britain braces for a “massive step down” in temperatures on Sunday night into Monday, with all areas across the UK approaching freezing.
Up to six inches of “severe” snow could fall in some parts with “nowhere immune” from a -5C Arctic plunge.
Monday saw gatherings of up to six people or two households permitted outdoors for the first time in months.
And Brits made the most of the new rules, which came the UK experienced the hottest March day in 50 years, with thousands heading outside to enjoy the sun.
But ahead of the four-day weekend, the Metropolitan Police called for calm, echoing Mr Johnson’s caution.
They insisted officers “make no apology for our tough stance on shutting down those large gatherings which pose a serious risk to public health”.
And experts warned Brits could face another Covid lockdown if mass crowds party in parks and gardens over the Easter weekend.
They said the virus is still dangerous and flouting the rules and dodging social distancing could plunge the country back into tougher restrictions later down the line – or delay the roadmap out of lockdown.
Professor Lawrence Young told the Sun Online: “The virus is still out there and very infectious.
“While the risk of transmission is low in outdoor spaces, crowding together could result in some spread of the virus and it’s too easy to take liberties which we consider to be low risk but aren’t – e.g. close contact by hugging or popping inside to go to somebody else’s toilet.
“We need to hang on in there with the current restrictions for a bit longer – none of us want another lockdown.”
Pals enjoy drinks on Clapham Common in south LondonCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd
Visitors on Brighton seafront enjoy the sunny but chilly weather on the Good FridayCredit: Alamy
A man does a handstand in the sunshine in BournemouthCredit: w8media
The beach in Lyme Regis, Dorset, busy in spite of the chilly breezeCredit: Alamy
People relaxing in London’s Battersea Park on Good FridayCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd
Under the current rules, small gatherings of up to six people – or two households – are permitted outdoors.
But meetings indoors and overnight stays are still banned.
Crowds of people along the seafront at Mumbles, near SwanseaCredit: Robert Melen
Members of the public enjoy the sun by the canal on Good Friday in Victoria Park, east LondonCredit: LNP
Cyclists were out in force in Richmond Park for a Good Friday bike ride this morningCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd
People take a punt tour along the River Cam in CambridgeCredit: PA
Crowds queue for fish and chips in South Shields, South TynesideCredit: NNP