Coronavirus: Britons urged to 'use common sense' as beaches and parks packed on hot Bank Holiday Monday

Lucia Binding, news reporter
Police say they were called to Ruislip Lido. Pic: Hillingdon Police

Hundreds of Britons have flocked to beaches and parks to bask in the warm bank holiday weather, prompting authorities to urge people to "use common sense".

Images emerged of packed beaches on Bank Holiday Monday, with reports of congestion around beauty spots as people take advantage of the easing of lockdown restrictions in England earlier this month.

Shortly before 12pm, Bournemouth Council said all its seafront car parks were full and told residents to "think twice" before visiting the beach.

A social media user who drove past Swanpool Beach in Falmouth reported seeing the "car park overflowing, hundreds of cars on surrounding roads, beach packed".

In west London, police say they were called to reports of a "large group gathering" at Ruislip Lido, and urged the public to "use common sense".

Pictures showed Botany Bay and Margate Main Sands in Kent packed with beachgoers, while large crowds were also seen at Weston-super-Mare beach.

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Ahead of the bank holiday, tourism bosses had pleaded with the public to stay away from beauty spots, with Sefton Council in Merseyside employing a "Wish you weren't here!" campaign.

Some described the packed beaches as the "Cummings effect" - as Boris Johnson's senior adviser Dominic Cummings is embroiled in a row for travelling 260 miles from London to Durham during the lockdown.

Twenty Conservative MPs claim Mr Cummings broke the lockdown rules, but the prime minister has maintained that his top aide acted "responsibly, legally and with integrity".

Police chiefs have warned Mr Cummings' actions could undermine their ability to enforce social distancing rules.

According to the rules, people should keep two metres away from anyone who is not in their household, and should not meet more than one person from another household at a time.

Sky News's weather presenter Nazaneen Ghaffar said high pressure dominating the weather this week means it will be fine and dry with "plenty of warmth and sunshine" for most places.

She said: "In fact, temperatures are set to rise, and for some across the South and South West of the UK it could be a rather hot day by Friday.

"We may even beat the current highest temperature of the year so far set only a few days ago at 28.2C (82.76F) in Santon Downham, Suffolk on 20 May."