Crowds flocked outdoors despite the Prime Minister urging people to ‘think twice’ before leaving the house (Picture: PA/ LNP/REUTERS)
Thousands of Brits flocked to beaches and parks today despite Boris Johnson urging people to ‘think twice’ about leaving the house.
But the Prime Minister could be accused of failing to follow his own advice after he was spotted taking son Wilfred for a stroll in his buggy this afternoon.
Johnson has also faced criticism over reports he cycled seven miles away from his Downing Street home – when members of the public have been told to exercise locally.
Today huge numbers of cyclists, dog walkers and pedestrians appeared to be taking advantage of the dry weather by visiting outdoor spaces across the country.
Dozens could be seen descending on Brighton’s beaches to soak up the winter sun, with large crowds pictured strolling on the seafront and long queues forming for ice cream.
In Richmond Park, London, police were on patrol as people ventured out to exercise, while Hyde Park also proved to be a popular destination for walkers.
Crowds also gathered at beauty spots in Sheffield and Newcastle, including the quayside.
England is now in its third national lockdown as the government tries to stem the rapid rise in Covid cases caused by mutant variants of the virus.
People queue for ice cream on the sea front in Brighton (Picture: PA)
Dozens of people decided to take a stroll on Brighton sea front today (Picture: PA)
Beachgoers in Brighton today defied the PM’s pleas to stay at home (Picture: PA)
The rules state people must have a reasonable excuse to leave their homes – such as food shopping, seeking medical assistance or exercising.
Official government guidance on daily exercise states: ‘You may exercise on your own, with one other person, or with your household or support bubble. This should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.’
The Prime Minister previously urged people to ‘think twice before leaving the house this weekend’.
But Health Secretary Matt Hancock appeared to defy the PM’s pleas after he was spotted at a busy park in North London yesterday. Mr Hancock is said to have been ‘head to toe in mud’ after a rugby game with his son.
Almost 45,000 fines have been issued to Covid-19 rule breakers across Britain, Home Secretary Priti Patel was revealed this week.
Outdoor spaces including Endcliffe Park in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, were busy today (Picture: Ioannis Alexopoulos/LNP)
Dozens of cyclists descended on Richmond Park today (Picture: REUTERS)
Caption: A police car patrols as people exercise in Richmond Park (Picture: REUTERS)
Forty-nine people were fined after officers shut down an illegal car meet in Romford on Saturday.
And one ‘selfish’ group of party-goers were caught out after hosting a gathering in a flat then sharing the evidence on Instagram – prompting other users to report them to the police.
It is believed some people travelled as far as Clitheroe, Lancashire, to attend the event, in Salford, Greater Manchester.
Greater Manchester Police said they broke up a number of house parties over the weekend – criticising a minority for believing they are ‘above the law’.
Chief Inspector Carol Martin, of Greater Manchester Police, said: ‘The majority of people across Greater Manchester are following the Government’s guidance – we would like to thank them for doing their bit throughout the pandemic. However, there is a minority who think they are above the law.
‘It is incredibly frustrating to those abiding by the rules that some people are showing such a blatant disregard for the current regulations.
‘Not only are they putting their own lives and those of their loved ones at stake, they also risk undoing the hard work of everyone else continuing to make the necessary sacrifices at this time.’
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