- Parks and public spaces were packed full of people today despite a third lockdown and pleas to stay home
- Current lockdown restrictions forbid going outside except where the person has a 'reasonable excuse'
- A group of five people were seen enjoying a sit-down picnic in Greenwich Park, LondonBritons are out in the winter sun amid lockdown today but some are flouting Covid rules by getting together for picnics and driving to parks.
Current restrictions forbid going outside except where the person has a 'reasonable excuse', such as work, essential shopping, and exercise.
A group of five people were seen enjoying a sit-down picnic in Greenwich Park, London, next to a series of bicycles leaning against a tree.
Brighton's seafront - a popular choice for sun-seeking revellers this summer - was jam-packed with Sunday ramblers looking to soak up the winter sun.
Newcastle Quayside was a bustling hub of activity this afternoon, as was the seafront at Southsea, Hampshire, despite Boris Johnson urging people to stay at home.
Today's harrowing figures show a further 704 people have died with coronavirus in hospital settings across the UK - the highest one-day rise on a Sunday since the pandemic began.
In England, 631 people who tested positive for coronavirus died, bringing the total number of confirmed deaths reported in hospitals to 60,921, NHS England said on Sunday.
Another 48 died in Wales, and 25 in Northern Ireland. No new deaths were reported in Scotland on Sunday.
The official government figures will be released later but the hospital deaths already make today the deadliest Sunday of the pandemic.
Home Secretary Priti Patel has warned that a minority of the public are 'putting the health of the nation at risk' by refusing to observe lockdown rules.
Those who flout the lockdown can be fined £200 for the first offence, doubling for further offences up to a maximum of £6,400.
Some people don't have to wear a mask if they have a valid exemption, such as it causing them severe distress or because of a physical or mental illness, impairment or disability – and they do not have to carry proof.
New Government guidelines dictate that daily exercise must be taken in one's local area - but it is unclear how far today's visitors traveled for a welcome breath of fresh air.
Under the current rules in England, people must not leave their home unless they have a 'reasonable excuse' - which includes exercise.
Citizens are allowed to exercise with one other person or with their household or support bubble, but not outside their local area.
It is unclear whether those pictured today live locally or had to drive from afar.
It comes amid revelations that someone is being admitted to hospital with coronavirus 'every thirty seconds', NHS England chief executive Sir Simon Stevens has said.
The NHS boss, who was appearing on the Andrew Marr show, said that hospitals had seen a huge increase in patients since Christmas and added that there are enough new cases to fill a whole hospital every morning.
He also revealed that a quarter of the admissions are people under the age of 55.
Sir Simon said: 'The facts are very clear and I'm not going to sugar-coat them, hospitals are under extreme pressure and staff are under extreme pressure.
'Since Christmas Day we've seen another 15,000 increase in the in-patients in hospitals across England, that's the equivalent of filling 30 hospitals full of coronavirus patients.
'Staggeringly, every thirty seconds across England another patient is being admitted to hospital with coronavirus.'
In more positive news, he also revealed that a trial for 24-hour Covid vaccines within the next 10 days.
When asked if he would like to see jabs given 'all day, all night', Sir Simon said: 'Absolutely, we will do that at the point that we have enough supply that it makes sense.
'We will start testing 24/7 in some hospitals over the course of the next 10 days.
'But we are at the moment vaccinating at about 140 jabs a minute and yesterday (Saturday), a quarter of a million people got their vaccinations on the NHS.
'I'm pretty confident by the time we get to the end of today, Sunday night, we will have perhaps done 1.5 million vaccinations this past week, that's up from around a million the week before.'
'We are vaccinating four times faster than people are catching coronavirus.'
He also insisted that no vaccines were being thrown away by doctors, despite reports.
Sir Simon said: 'The guidance from the chief medical officer and NHS medical director is crystal clear, that every last drop of vaccine should be used.'
Sir Simon said the NHS is facing the most 'unique' situation in its history.
Asked if the nation's health service has ever been in a more precarious situation, he told the Andrew Marr show: 'No. This is a unique event in our 72-year history, it's become glib to talk about this as the worst pandemic in a century, but that is clearly correct.
'We have got three-quarters more Covid inpatients now then we had in the April peak.
'Although we are seeing some promising signs of the steadying of the infection rates, the fact is they are still far too high and, among some age groups, still rising.'
He added: 'It is not going to be the case that on Valentine's Day, with one bound, we are free.
'Equally, I don't think we will have to wait until the autumn, I think somewhere between those two.