Cornish resorts have been labelled ‘Benidorm on steroids’ after floods of visitors have left residents too scared to leave their houses and go shopping for food.
Street marshals have been patrolling hotspots after visitors were seen pouring down narrow streets without paying attention to social-distancing rules, despite warning signs being put in place.
It comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged Britons to enjoy staycations in the UK but ‘squeezed the brakes’ on easing lockdown restrictions across the country after coronavirus infections doubled in the last month.
And a top Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) advisor, Professor Graham Medley, warned that the virus could ‘just get out of control’ as he claimed there was a rise in infections among younger people.
Thousands of young tourists flocked to beaches in the south of England yesterday when temperatures soared to record highs of 100F (37.8C) but they have left local authorities deemed British beaches ‘unmanageable’.
One Cornish resident spoke on BBC Radio 1 this morning and described the area as ‘Benidorm on steroids’.
And a St Ives resident who manages holiday lets, Claire Harris, 37, said her family was ‘too scared to go food shopping’.
She revealed that she has banned her children from the main street and harbour because of the hordes of people.
Another resident, Jonathan Pitts, told the BBC that he believes tourists think they are escaping coronavirus when they visit the quiet towns.
Vicky White, from Newyln, said: ‘It makes me very uneasy to go out with my two young kids. It is sad for residents to not be able to enjoy where they live.’
Local authorities branded Britain’s beaches ‘unmanageable’ yesterday after thousands of tourists and sunseekers descended to the seaside yesterday.
The Coastguard had its busiest day in more than four years on Friday, when the UK recorded its third hottest day ever, as it dealt with more than 300 incidents.
Cornish resorts have been labelled ‘Benidorm on steroids’ after floods of visitors have left residents too scared to leave their houses and go shopping for food. Pictured: Bustling streets in St Ives yesterday
Street marshals have been patrolling hotspots after visitors were seen pouring down narrow streets without paying attention to social-distancing rules. Pictured: Tourists flock to Fistral beach in Cornwall yesterday
One resident described the area as ‘Benidorm on steroids’. Pictured: People crammed into a bus in St Ives yesterday
A St Ives resident who manages holiday lets, Claire Harris, 37, said her family was ‘too scared to go food shopping’. Pictured: People flood the streets of St Ives yesterday
Beachgoers flocked to Fistral beach in Cornwall yesterday to soak up the balmy weather
Another resident, Jonathan Pitts, believes tourists think they are escaping coronavirus when they visit the quiet towns
Thanet District Council asked people to avoid four of the area’s beaches, including Margate’s Main Sands, due to the number of visitors.
Leader of the council Councillor Rick Everitt said: ‘Early on, it became clear that they were going to reach levels of which we were concerned about.’
Authorities expressed concern about keeping tourists safe in the water, as well as the potential spread of Covid-19 and maintaining social distancing.
‘The RNLI only have a certain capacity,’ Mr Everitt said.
‘They’re on seven Thanet beaches this summer, which is slightly fewer than usual, and they’re doing a great job where they are but they don’t have unlimited resources to deal with people in the water.
‘If you have too many people on the beach, it just becomes unmanageable from that point of view.’
The worries come as the government discusses whether lockdown restrictions were eased too early.
And one of the government’s top scientific advisers even warned that ‘further interventions’ could be needed to get pupils back in classes next month – suggesting that ministers should decide between pubs or schools.
Dozens of beachgoers flocked to Brighton beach this morning to bask in the warm temperatures after local authorities warned Britain’s beaches are becoming ‘unmanageable’ due to hordes of visitors who don’t follow social-distancing rules
The Coastguard had its busiest day in more than four years on Friday, when the UK recorded its third hottest day ever, as it dealt with more than 300 incidents. Pictured: A group of people are spotted sitting by the sea in Brighton this morning as the temperatures across the country start to cool
Women sunbathe and enjoy the slightly cooler temperatures this morning on Brighton beach
Police in Brighton patrol the promenade on what should have been Pride weekend in the city
Professor Medley’s comments come after Sage warned of anger at local lockdowns sparking riots over the coming months, which could ‘overwhelm all attempts’ to control coronavirus and ‘catastrophically’ undermine recovery plans.
Britain was last night braced for new restrictions on meeting friends and family as the price for getting children back to school.
Boris Johnson said he was ‘squeezing the brake pedal’ on easing lockdown measures after infections doubled in a month.
Carefree daytrippers flocked to beaches across the country on Friday, sparking concerns about how sunseekers would keep to social-distancing measures.
Temperatures reached 100F (37.8C) at London’s Heathrow Airport at 2.41pm and also reached 99.1F (37.3C) at Kew Gardens, in west London, the Met Office said.
Many calls to the Coastguard on Friday were about people being cut off by the tide, missing children and swimmers getting into difficulty.
The Coastguard said the total number of UK incidents was 329, including 232 callouts for coastguard rescue teams, 129 for lifeboats, 22 requiring aircraft and three for a hovercraft.
The coast along Essex and Kent saw a total of 45 incidents, it added.
Brits were spotted sleeping on beaches this morning after flocking to the seaside to bask in the sizzling highs of 100F and staying the night. Pictured: A family sets up camp and pitch a tent on Bournemouth beach this morning
Three people were spotted wrapped up in sheets and blankets underneath Bournemouth pier this morning surrounded by litter, discarded face masks, strewn flip flops and a shisha pipe.
Some sunseekers seemed to have a little too much fun yesterday as a lonesome baby stroller was spotted near the beach adorned with two empty bottles of beer
Cleanup crews were spotted in Bournemouth much less balmy weather this morning while they got rid of the mess left behind by yesterday’s sunseekers
Hordes of beachgoers left masses of litter behind in Bournemouth yesterday which had to be cleaned up this morning
Litter was left strewn across Bournemouth beach after it was packed with sunseekers yesterday on the UK’s hottest day of the year so far
Holidaymakers and sunbathers enjoyed the weather at Dorset’s Durdle Door yesterday
A long line of visitors, many armed with swimming equipment, make their way to the beach at Durdle Door in Dorset
The south west coast path from the car park was busy as holidaymakers and sunbathers flocked to the beach at Durdle Door
Staff members from convenience stores in Perranzabuloe, Cornwall, have reportedly been subjected to ‘unreal’ amounts of abuse when they try and enforce social-distancing measures.
Royden Paynter, harbour master at Mousehole, said: ‘Suddenly we’ve been hit with a stampede.
‘Everybody is a bit more stressed this year – they don’t move out of your way’.
Police officers condemn Boris’s order to enforce ‘absolutely bonkers’ mask and social distancing rules and call it an’ impossible’ task
Boris Johnson’s call for police to enforce the mandatory wearing of masks in indoor areas was yesterday branded ‘bonkers’ by officers.
The PM vowed a ‘greater police presence’ after it emerged officers fined just 13 people for not wearing face coverings on public transport in a two-week period last month.
He said masks musts be worn in galleries, cinemas and places of worship, as well as in shops and on trains and buses, while insisting the police will have to ensure the rules are being followed.
However, Ken Marsh, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers, told MailOnline the new policy was ‘impossible’ to enforce.
He said: ‘They want us to enforce the new rules in these other places now, but next door there might be a pub or a restaurant where people don’t have to wear a mask.
‘It doesn’t make any sense, it’s absolutely bonkers.
‘How do they want us to enforce it in places of worship? It’s impossible. We’re just veering from one thing to another, almost seemingly on an hourly basis, and it always ends up becoming the police’s problem.
‘If you go into big stores, you might see people with masks on but in the little high street shops, people just wander in and out without them and it’ll be the same with this.
‘We can’t enforce that. It has to be a collective social effort, we have to do this all together. They are losing the will of the police and the public in terms of what they are expecting from us.
‘Rank and file officers will be wondering if they are just being set up to get abuse. We’ve got demonstrations all over London this weekend but as far as I’m aware you’re still not allowed to meet in groups of more than 30.
But Adrienne Munday, a small business owner there, said Covid-19 concerns had been ‘over dramatised’ and most people were delighted to welcome back the ‘summer buzz’.
Coronavirus cases have more than doubled in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly – with 19 new cases in the week to July 27, compared to just eight new cases in the week before.
A Cornwall Council spokesperson said: ‘To help guide people in city and town centres we have marked ‘keep right’ walkways and put up signing, and there are street wardens on hand to offer advice.
‘Cornwall Council will continue to monitor congested sites and provide signs and marshals where they may help, but we ask everyone to be considerate of others and follow public health guidance to help reduce the risk of transmission.’
Sage’s Professor Medley also claimed the rise in coronavirus infections appeared to be among younger people but warned there was a danger it could ‘spill’ over into other parts of the population.
He said: ‘The age distribution of infections has changed, it has moved down into younger age groups and so it is likely we won’t see that increase in hospital admissions related to infection in the same way we did in March.
‘But the big fear is the virus just gets out of control and we end up in a situation where there is so much virus that it inevitably spills out into all sections of the population.’
The Sage paper warning of riots suggests the level of violence could be even worse than those seen during the notorious clashes of 2011, that inequalities fuelled by the virus have left the UK ‘precariously balanced’, with police not prepared to manage a large-scale break down of public order.
As a result, the military should be put on standby, the experts argue.
Thanet district councillor, Mr Everitt, said that Thanet’s beaches had seen ‘exceptional’ numbers of visitors driven by the balmy conditions.
‘We’re happy for people to come to Thanet, our economy is dependent on it, and obviously a lot of businesses in the coastal areas are struggling, because they missed so much of the season,’ he told PA.
‘So it is a bit of a balancing act for us, because we don’t want to be saying, ‘don’t come’, as we know small businesses around our seafront are desperate for the revenue.’
He said the facilities on the beaches, such as toilets, were not equipped for the number of tourists, while authorities would be able to cope better if demand was better distributed along the coastline.
‘It’s an irony isn’t it that seaside towns have spent years complaining that people no longer visit them because they go abroad,’ he added.
‘We’re getting greater numbers than we’ve ever seen since package holidays became a thing.’
And Brits were spotted asleep on beaches this morning after flocking to the seaside yesterday to bask in the sizzling highs of 100F.
Three people were spotted dozing while wrapped up in sheets and blankets underneath Bournemouth pier surrounded by litter, discarded face masks, strewn flip flops and a shisha pipe.
Government statisticians yesterday admitted there is ‘now enough evidence’ to prove Covid-19 infections are on the up, calculating that 4,200 people are now catching the virus each day in England alone
Blackburn with Darwen – the worst-hit authority in the country – will be subject to the new rules, as will Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle, Rossendale, Bradford, Calderdale and Kirklees as well as all of Greater Manchester
Visitors cram onto the beach at Southend-on-Sea in Essex on the hottest day of the year and the third hottest day ever yesterday
Holidaymakers flock to the beach at West Bay in Dorset yesterday as further heatwaves are expected across the country
And further down the beach a family had set up camp and pitched a tent into the sand alongside camping chairs.
Some sunseekers seemed to have a little too much fun yesterday as a lonesome baby stroller was spotted near the beach adorned with two empty bottles of beer.
And cleanup crews were spotted at 5am today sorting out the mess left behind by yesterday’s carefree revellers.
‘A hammer blow to business’: Boris’s sudden slamming on of brakes will devastate the UK’s economy and cost more jobs, say experts as FTSE 100 slumps 1.2% by 72 points to 5,918
Business leaders yesterday warned that Boris Johnson postponing a further easing of England’s coronavirus lockdown was a ‘hammer blow’ to the economy.
The British Chambers of Commerce said businesses and consumer confidence will be damaged again after the Prime Minister warned the UK ‘cannot be complacent’ amid a rise in the Covid-19’s prevalance in communities.
It comes as the FTSE 100 index of Britain’s leading firms was trading down by 72 points or 1.2 per cent at 5,918 by this afternoon in London, having initially been up at 6,043 this morning.
In a further blow to the economy, England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty warned that it might not be possible to ease lockdown further.
British Chamber of Commerce co-executive director Claire Walker said today: ‘While tackling the public health emergency must be the priority, these announcements – made at short notice – will be a hammer blow to business and consumer confidence at a time when many firms were just starting to get back on their feet.
‘Businesses communities need as much clarity as possible from government if they are to plan ahead and rebuild their operations in the coming months.
‘Ministers must also consider extending support to all firms, many of whom will be forced to close for an even more prolonged period, as well as targeted measures to help businesses placed under localised lockdowns.
UKHospitality called on the Government to provide more business support after the news that measures due to be lifted today, including small wedding receptions and reopening bowling alleys and casinos, were postponed for at least two weeks.
Its chief executive Kate Nicholls said: ‘We understand that safety is the priority, but it is still devastating news for hospitality businesses.
‘They have spent a lot of time and money, which they can ill afford to lose at the minute, getting ready to reopen. For those people who work in those sectors, the security of their jobs remains uncertain.
Beachgoers hoping to wake up to a repeat of yesterday’s balmy weather may be in for disappointment as temperatures are set to cool to 77F (25C) today as showers spread across the country.
Temperatures soared to 37.8C at London Heathrow on Friday afternoon and even Leeds and Manchester reached 88F (31C) while Newcastle and Wales saw balmy weather of 79F (26C).
But according to the Met Office temperatures will cool down today and rain and clouds will be seen across the north.
Yesterday’s announcement that the brakes were being applied to the easing of lockdown measures came just hours before a swathe of businesses were due to reopen.
At a gloomy Downing Street press conference, chief medical officer Chris Whitty warned the country had ‘probably reached near the limit or the limits’ of what can be done to return to life as normal for now.
He suggested trade-offs would have to be made if schools are to reopen in September, with some restrictions being reimposed.
Families could be asked to avoid using public transport or meeting other households under one option.
Meanwhile, more than two million people who have been shielding from the virus at home will no longer need to isolate in most of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland from today.
Professor Whitty warned: ‘We have probably reached near the limit or the limits of what we can do in terms of opening up society. The idea that we can open up everything and keep the virus under control is clearly wrong.
‘What that means, potentially, is that if we wish to do more things in the future, we may have to do less of some other things and these will be difficult trade-offs.’
‘Some of these will be decisions of government, and so which are for all of us as citizens to do. But we have to be realistic about this, the idea that we can open up everything and keep the virus under control is clearly wrong.’
Measures due to be lifted today, including allowing small wedding receptions, reopening bowling alleys and pilots of sports gatherings, are delayed by at least two weeks.
Face coverings will also become mandatory in more places in England including museums, galleries and places of worship from next Saturday – and there will be tougher policing of the wearing of them.
It comes as figures yesterday showed there are now 4,900 new infections a day, up from around 3,000 a day a fortnight ago and 2,000 a day at the end of June.
After receiving the grim data on infection levels late on Wednesday, Mr Johnson is understood to have called a meeting of his closest aides on Thursday morning to work out a new battle plan.
Ministers, including Matt Hancock, Rishi Sunak and Michael Gove, as well as Professor Whitty, finalised the proposals later that evening.
In other developments:
- The Prime Minister revealed what he described as a ‘pretty punchy’ new slogan – ‘Hands, face, space’ – to re-emphasise social distancing rules;
- Mr Johnson claimed his drive to get workers back to the office is unchanged, despite a poll showing thousands of civil servants still work from home;
- Scots were urged not to visit parts of northern England, with Nicola Sturgeon citing a ‘significant risk’ of infections;
- Several other areas have seen spikes in infections over the last fortnight;
- Two million patients who have been shielding since March are being encouraged to return to normal lives;
- A leading provider said care homes in England have been without regular virus tests for over a fortnight.
A pelican surprised a shocked sun seeker and tried to steal his tablet during the heatwave in St James’s Park, London, yesterday
People enjoy the sunshine on Barry Island beach in South Wales yesterday as the country experiences very hot weather
Masses of people enjoy the scorching weather on Portobello Beach in Edinburgh on the hottest day of the year
Prof Medley said: ‘It might come down to a question of which do you trade off against each other and then that’s a matter of prioritising, do we think pubs are more important than schools?’
Drinkers crowding outside a pub in Primrose Hill, north London, last night appeared to pay little attention to social distancing
On the hottest day of the year yesterday, many drinkers in Manchester enjoyed a pint outside of this pub in the city centre
The ‘Northern lockdown’ ban on people in Greater Manchester, parts of east Lancashire and West Yorkshire meeting other households indoors or in gardens was announced immediately, with the other measures confirmed yesterday.
Mr Johnson warned the restrictions in areas of the North West could become nationwide if infections keep rising. He said: ‘Unless people follow the rules and behave safely, we may need to go further.’
He also promised that the police will be would be playing a much bigger role in enforcing the rules on face masks, as well as breaking up large gatherings.