Members of the public are continuing to flout the government’s rules by heading out to sunbathe on the second day of the coronavirus lockdown.
Footage has emerged showing police dispersing Britons gathering in parks and other public places, with people gathering despite strict advice to stay at home yo avoid the outbreak overwhelming the NHS.
In Shepherd’s Bush in West London, people soaked up the sun, seemingly oblivious to the tight restrictions imposed by the government on Monday. Police were seen telling the sun worshipers to leave and go home.
Others were seen enjoying the weather at Battersea Park in South West London, on the beach in Portsmouth and in the sea off Eastbourne today despite the Prime Minister urging people to stay at home.
Meanwhile in Manchester, officers today dispersed groups, some of which greeted each other with a hug, along with sunbathers in Piccadilly Gardens. Police also used megaphones to tell people to stay at home unless absolutely necessary, saying ‘this is serious, we need to beat corona.’
It comes as:
- The Prince of Wales has tested positive for coronavirus but is only displaying mild symptoms, Clarence House announced.
- NHS England’s medical director said hundreds of thousands of tests for Covid-19 per day could become a reality within weeks.
- Boris Johnson urged London Mayor Sadiq Khan to ‘get more Tubes on the line’ but resisted calls to ban non-essential construction workers from heading to building sites.
- Parliament is set to adjourn for an early Easter break after emergency legislation to tackle Covid-19 is approved.
- The Prime Minister confirmed that ministers are considering asking black taxi drivers to act as a transport service for NHS workers.
- A total of 435 patients who tested positive for coronavirus had died in the UK as of today, however the latest figures for England have not yet been announced.
In Westminster, the Prime Minister insisted the Government is ‘working as fast as we possibly can’ on a package of support to help the self-employed despite ‘particular complexities’ amid growing political pressure.
Last week, the Government announced an unprecedented plan to underwrite the wages of millions of workers who face being laid off as activity dries up – but it has been criticised for doing nothing for the country’s five million freelancers, contractors and other self-employed workers.
British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced strict lockdown measures on Monday urging people to stay at home and only leave the house for basic food shopping, exercise once a day and essential travel to and from work (groups pictured in Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester)
Dottie and Lulu went for a brief swim in Eastbourne today with local pools and gyms currently closed due to the outbreak
People enjoy the sun in Battersea Park in South West London while the UK is in a coronavirus lockdown
Members of the public on the seafront in Portsmouth today after Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK in lockdown
A man and a woman embrace in Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester on Wednesday despite the strict lockdown
Two men greet one another with a high five in Piccadilly Gardens on March 25, 2020 in Manchester seemingly oblivious to the new lockdown rules
Police had to disperse sunbathers in Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester on Wednesday as people continued to flout lockdown rules
On Monday the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson addressed the nation and told Britain’s 66million people they must stay at home unless they are front-line workers, need to shop infrequently to buy food or medicine or are helping a vulnerable person.
He also said one form of exercise was permitted each day, such as dog-walking – but not sunbathing or merely sitting outside.
Mr Johnson ordered the immediate closure of all non-essential shops and threatened people with fines or even arrest if they did not ‘stay at home’.
The Prime Minister’s shutdown will last for a minimum of three weeks and the UK’s new state of emergency is unprecedented in modern history.
These young people in Cheltenham gathered in a group not appearing to adher to social distancing rules
Gatherings of more than two people are banned in the most dramatic curbs on freedom ever seen in Britain in time of peace or war, as the government goes all out to stop the spread of the killer disease.
The footage showing brazen sunbathers comes as families who have lost loved ones after testing positive for coronavirus have appealed on social media for people to stay inside as the outbreak tightens its grip across the UK.
Twitter user, @mollyacejay, paid tribute to her grandmother on Tuesday and urged members of the public to stay indoors.
‘please please please stay indoors. I will forever be grateful for the love my grandma had for all of us, for the kindness she showed. we sadly lost her to covid19 earlier today. please stay inside,’ she wrote.
Twitter user, @mollyacejay, paid tribute to her grandmother and urged members of the public to stay indoors
Underneath her Tweet @mollyacejay retweeted a message her grandmother had sent her earlier in the year.
‘my grandma crocheted a pride blanket for me after I finally spoke to her about being gay at christmas. lucky, blessed, loved.’
The UK’s coronavirus death toll stood at 437 on Wednesday with more than 8,200 cases.
Mark Foran took to Twitter to pay tribute to his dad who was one of those who died yesterday.
‘After suffering a brain hemorrhage back in November and being in hospital ever since fighting to survive, our Dad got diagnosed with Covid-19 last week and he sadly passed away today. Rest In Peace Dad x’
The humanitarian cost of the pandemic continues to mount globally as more than 415,000 people have been infected with the deadly disease, and more than 18,000 have been killed.
Meanwhile Prince Charles has tested positive for coronavirus and is self-isolating at his home on the Balmoral estate, it was revealed today.
The Prince of Wales, 71, has a ‘mild’ form of the illness and is with his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, who has tested negative and is without any symptoms of the virus, which has killed 435 and infected 8,000 more in the UK so far.
A royal source said Charles’ doctor’s most conservative estimate was that the prince was contagious on March 13 – 24 hours after ‘briefly’ meeting his 93-year-old mother the Queen.
A Buckingham Palace spokesman has said: ‘Her Majesty remains in good health. The Queen is following all the appropriate advice with regard to her welfare’.
Shoppers have also been pictured squeezing together at supermarkets Wednesday morning, ignoring social distancing rules and raising fears that stores could become the new superspreaders of coronavirus.
Under government guidelines, people are supposed to stay 6ft apart from others if they have to go outside, but shoppers at several supermarkets all over the UK this morning have been flouting the rules while stocking up on essentials.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday ordered Brits to stay at home to halt the spread of the virus, imposing curbs on everyday life without precedent in peacetime.
However, people are still allowed to leave their homes to shop for basic necessities, leading to supermarkets being flooded with customers and fears that they will become hotbeds of the virus.
Several major chains are now introducing new measures to try and enforce social distancing and protect staff.
Morrisons, Lidl, Aldi, Iceland and Sainsbury’s have brought in protective screens for staff, and Waitrose – which is introducing ‘two-metre marshalls’ who will manage queues outside shops – has ordered screens and visors for its workers.
Waitrose calls its policies ‘a set of strong, new measures’ to help its customers shop safely.
The company said the number of customers allowed in at any one time will be limited so that social distancing can be observed, and a ‘one in, one out’ policy will be operated when it is judged that the shop is at capacity.
Customers coming to Waitrose will see marshals who will help to manage queues outside shops and if necessary remind people to respect the two-metre social distancing rule.
Waitrose will also dedicate the first opening hour to elderly and vulnerable customers and those caring for them, while NHS staff will continue to be given priority checkout service.
There will also be ‘safe distance’ floor signage, protective screens at checkouts, and additional security.
Morrisons, which has already put up perspex screens, is introducing signage in stores to support social distancing, including floor stickers, posters and banners which will ask customers to keep one trolley distance apart, as well as giving guidance on where to wait and where to queue.
Asda has also announced similar measures, saying it will introduce floor markers and directional barriers to help customers keep their distance, and will install perspex screens at its checkouts.
Hand sanitiser will be available for customers to use when entering and departing.
A number of self-service machine will also be shut in order to enforce the two-metre rule, a spokesperson told MailOnline.
Mark Foran took to Twitter to pay tribute to his dad who was one of those who died yesterday
Sainsbury’s said it is ‘working through the detail’ but expects to restrict the number of people allowed in stores at any one time, and will also be introducing barriers outside to ensure people queue at a safe distance when waiting to get in.
The supermarket said it will also have reminders to keep two metres apart displayed throughout stores, screens at manned checkouts, and will close every other payment point to help keep people apart.
On Tuesday afternoon, Marks & Spencer said its 31 outlet stores selling only clothing and homeware will be temporarily closed.
M&S said when customers arrive at its food stores, they will see a ‘greeter’ who will ensure the number of customers in the store at any one time is managed.
Lombardy, Italy, replaced Wuhan in China, as the most badly impacted region in the world, with authorities in the European country announcing that 743 more people had died in the country on Tuesday, bringing the total dead to 6,820.
Italian authorities believe some of the restrictive measures taken may be beginning to have an impact after officially registered new infections rose by just eight percent, the same percentage increase as Monday- the lowest level since Italy registered its first death on February 21.
Early morning shoppers queue outside waiting for the Sainsbury’s supermarket to open in Heaton, Newcastle upon Tyne on Wednesday
The trajectory of the rapidly spreading virus shows that Madrid and London could become the next hotspots of the disease, with deaths now doubling every two days in the respective capital cities.
In the UK, 87 more patients died overnight in England, including 21 at the one NHS trust in London. The UK’s death toll has risen almost six-fold in the space of a week, with just 71 fatalities recorded last Tuesday.
And in Spain the armed forces asked NATO for humanitarian assistance to fight the novel coronavirus as the national death toll touched 2,700 and infections soared towards 40,000.
The Madrid region has suffered the brunt of the epidemic with 12,352 infections – just under a third of the total – and 1,535 deaths, or 57 percent of the national figure.
Outside of Europe, in the United States, the death toll has risen quite slowly compared to other nations so far, but the trajectory for New York’s mortality curve is much steeper, suggesting it could overtake Madrid.
More than 12,000 people have tested positive in the city and 125 have died. A state-wide lockdown took effect on Sunday night.
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