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Sunday, 2 August 2020

Antisocial distancing! Fights break out on Brighton seafront as drinkers flout Covid rules – while Cornwall Council slams 'ignorant' tourists refusing to wear masks amid mass influx of holidaymakers

  • Tempers flared on the Brighton seafront as temperatures hit 72F this weekend
  • A fight broke out between two women with security stepping in to break it up
  • Pictures show packed beaches in Bournemouth, Dorset, and Southend, Essex
  • Cornwall council chiefs also warn holidaymakers to respect social distancing
Tempers flared at one of Britain's most popular seaside resorts this weekend as drinkers flocked to the beach amid two days of soaring temperatures. 
Cornwall Council today slammed 'ignorant' tourists who descended on beauty spots without their face masks, as Britons elsewhere appeared to ignore social distancing rules while gathering at bars. 
In Brighton, a heated argument between two women erupted into violence on Saturday as temperatures hit 72F (22C).  
Security staff and passers-by jumped in to help break-up the fight between the women, who appeared to pull at each other's hair as they tumbled to the ground near the seafront.   
Pictures taken today also revealed how revellers gathered for drinks in the streets of Soho, while Bournemouth beach again looked busy as sunseekers flocked to enjoy a splash in the sea.
As temperatures hit 72F in Brighton this weekend, tempers boiled over when an argument between a group of women erupted into violence with bystanders cheering them on
As temperatures hit 72F in Brighton this weekend, tempers boiled over when an argument between a group of women erupted into violence with bystanders cheering them on
Others, including a security guard, rushed to break up the fight which took place near Brighton seafront
Others, including a security guard, rushed to break up the fight which took place near Brighton seafront
During the fight, both women appeared to grab hold of each other's hair as they tumbled to the floor
During the fight, both women appeared to grab hold of each other's hair as they tumbled to the floor
Deputy leader of Cornwall Council Adam Paynter today admitted there is fear in the coastal county for a rise in coronavirus cases as people travel to the region for their holidays.
Speaking out about holidaymakers flocking to Cornwall, where today a man in his 40s died after being pulled from the sea, he told LBC: 'It is feeling quite busy, it's difficult to know exactly where it is numbers-wise.
'Many hotels and certainly bed-and-breakfasts either haven't opened or are seeing less visitors but then our campsites and caravans are seeing a lot more people using those sites so it is feeling busy when you're out in some of our towns.'
Councillor Paynter also criticised 'ignorant' tourists who refuse to wear face masks during their visit to the south-west.
He said: 'Clearly we've still got a very low number of cases of coronavirus but obviously residents want to keep it that way.
'I've heard two different incidents where people have been overheard saying: "Well, I'm not going to wear a mask. I came down here to get away from all of that".
'I think that's pretty ignorant thinking that coronavirus doesn't exist down here.
'We did have 20 positive cases this week which was up 14 from the previous week.
'So it's something that local residents are concerned about because they've been sensible, they've behaved.'
In Brighton, large groups of people were seen gathering around bars this weekend, with many revellers appearing to break social distancing rules by standing close together in large groups.
In Brighton, groups gathered near pubs and bars in large numbers as they enjoyed the sunny weather
In Brighton, groups gathered near pubs and bars in large numbers as they enjoyed the sunny weather
Large groups were also seen gathered around tables in pub gardens near to the seafront in Brighton
Large groups were also seen gathered around tables in pub gardens near to the seafront in Brighton
As the crowds gathered to enjoy their drinks, an argument erupted between a group of women
As the crowds gathered to enjoy their drinks, an argument erupted between a group of women
Security staff attempted to break up the argument, which later turned into a full-blow fight
Security staff attempted to break up the argument, which later turned into a full-blow fight
As revellers gathered around tables in large numbers on Saturday, an argument erupted between one group of women. 
A security worker ended up holding a hairpiece as he desperately grappled to split the women.
An observer said: 'It was very warm and large numbers of people had been drinking all afternoon, totally ignoring social distancing measures.
'Suddenly a minor disagreement erupted into a full-scale fight with the women trading blows.
'Drinkers and bystanders began cheering and clapping and people were filming the fight on their phones. The behaviour of the women was shocking but the people cheering it on were disgusting.
'The fight then spilled over to another area with both women grappling and punching each other on the floor.
'Eventually the single security worker, who was not wearing a mask, managed to separate the pair.'
It was a much calmer atmosphere in the streets of Soho in London, where revellers gathered for drinks outside pubs and bars
It was a much calmer atmosphere in the streets of Soho in London, where revellers gathered for drinks outside pubs and bars
Others stood around with their drinks outside pubs and bars in Soho this afternoon
Others stood around with their drinks outside pubs and bars in Soho this afternoon
Outside the Cock and Lion in Soho it was even more peaceful, with drinkers able to enjoy a pint at a distance
Outside the Cock and Lion in Soho it was even more peaceful, with drinkers able to enjoy a pint at a distance
Police did not intervene to enforce the social distancing measures pubs and bars have been ordered to abide by.
The eyewitness said: 'I think the hot weather and drink is a recipe for disaster when it comes to the Government's anti-Covid-19 policies.' 
Although scenes were much more peaceful in the streets of Soho, London, today, photographs show large groups gathering to drink outside pubs and bars.
Meanwhile, Bournemouth beach was typically busy as sunseekers flocked to top up their tans in the warm summer heat, as was Southend beach in Essex.
It comes as Britons were given the news that a ten-day heatwave with highs of 95F has been predicted in Britain this week, adding to fears that the country's beaches are becoming 'unmanageable' due to hordes of visitors who don't follow social-distancing rules.
The Met Office an 'African heat flare' from Thursday until mid-August, predicting 'drier, brighter and very warm' weather towards the end of the week and 'very hot conditions' in southeastern areas. 
Bournemouth beach, a popular hotspot when the weather is warm, was busy as usual today
Bournemouth beach, a popular hotspot when the weather is warm, was busy as usual today
But people appeared to have enough space to social distance while on the sandy Dorset beach
But people appeared to have enough space to social distance while on the sandy Dorset beach
Signs in place at Bournemouth beach urge sunseekers to keep their distance while soaking up the sun
Signs in place at Bournemouth beach urge sunseekers to keep their distance while soaking up the sun
It was slightly more crowded at Southend beach in Essex today - another popular hotspot for tourists
It was slightly more crowded at Southend beach in Essex today - another popular hotspot for tourists
Weather Outlook forecaster Brian Gaze, said: 'August could rescue summer.
'Computer models suggest a very warm or hot period from Thursday, lasting for as long as mid-month. 35C is possible again.'
It comes as 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.
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.' 
Beachgoers soak up the sun amid soaring temperatures at the beach in Broadstairs, Kent today
Beachgoers soak up the sun amid soaring temperatures at the beach in Broadstairs, Kent today
A ten-day heatwave with highs of 95F has been predicted in Britain this week. Pictured: Broadstairs, Kent today
A ten-day heatwave with highs of 95F has been predicted in Britain this week. Pictured: Broadstairs, Kent today
Britons on a packed beach in Bournemouth as the hot weather continued this weekend
Britons on a packed beach in Bournemouth as the hot weather continued this weekend
The beach was busy with holidaymakers and sunbathers who flocked to the seaside resort of West Bay in Dorset on a day of warm sunny spells today
The beach was busy with holidaymakers and sunbathers who flocked to the seaside resort of West Bay in Dorset on a day of warm sunny spells today
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.' 
Meanwhile Cornish resorts have been branded 'Benidorm on steroids' after floods of visitors left residents too scared to leave their homes and go food shopping.
Street marshals have been patrolling hotspots after tourists poured down narrow streets and flouted social-distancing rules - despite clear warning signs in place.
Temperature, 2 m above ground, 54°N 4°W, 2018/10/21 11:00 AM (UTC+01:00), © VentuSky.com
Locals blasted the guests for their flagrant breaking of the restrictions, with one terrified woman saying she has banned her children from the main street and harbour.
It comes as Boris Johnson 'squeezed the brakes' on easing lockdown restrictions across the country after coronavirus infections rocketed in the last month.
Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies adviser Professor Graham Medley warned the deadly virus could 'get out of control' as he claimed there was a rise in cases among younger people.
There were no free spaces for campers or campervans at any of the top 20 sites in Cornwall - or the top 15 in Dorset - for a week's stay for two adults from today as holidaymakers opt for a staycation rather than trip abroad.
Parks and campsites across Britain have seen a boom in bookings recently, with Haven, Butlin's, Center Parcs and Hoseasons being inundated with requests. 

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