UK threatens to tighten coronavirus lockdown if people don’t stop sunbathing
Police community support officers patrol Brighton's beach Sunday.
The British Health Secretary said Sunday that outdoor exercise could be banned next if people continue flouting the coronavirus lockdown.
“I don’t want to have to take that action, of course I don’t, but we have already demonstrated that we are prepared to take the action that’s necessary to get this virus under control,” Matt Hancock said on BBC. “Let’s not have a minority spoiling it for everybody.”
The United Kingdom has allowed people to walk, run or bike outside once a day — but not sunbathe — but many cities, including beaches like Brighton, reported busy outdoor areas over the weekend.
“Too many people are on the seafront making social distancing impossible,” the Brighton and Hove City Council tweeted Saturday. “Too many people are using the seafront to meet up with friends. We know it’s hard being inside and not seeing friends and family but..”
London Mayor Shadiq Khan also urged people to stay inside.
“This weekend there have been reports of people sunbathing and congregating in parks. Green spaces are a lifeline for many Londoners without outdoor space and I want them to stay open, but that will only be possible if we all follow the rules,” he tweeted Sunday.
“Londoners, I couldn’t be clearer: you must stay at home and not leave unless it’s absolutely necessary to do so. People are able to exercise once a day, staying as local as possible and not gathering in groups, but keep two metres distance at all times. London parks should be kept open wherever possible and I’m working with the Met Police and local authorities to see what else we can do to enforce social distancing in parks. Unless you are making an essential journey or exercising once a day, please #StayHomeSaveLives.”
More than 48,000 people have tested positive for coronavirus in the United Kingdom so far. Of those, more than 4,900 have died.