As hundreds of sun seekers flocked to the beaches during the heatwave this week the aftermath sees more piles of rubbish building up, with some beachgoers claiming ‘no one else seems to care’ about maintaining a safe distance apart.
Bins at tourist hotspots across England overflowed due to the overwhelming number of people who flooded to the sea during the warm spell.
The Prime Minster warned of a ‘serious spike’ in coronavirus infections in the UK if people did not follow social distancing guidance.
Although the seaside locations were not as busy yesterday as a result of Boris Johnson’s words, the effects of the sudden influx have left many locals disgusted with the mess.
Rubbish littered the sandy beach in Bournemouth on Thursday as sun seekers flocked to the coast
Bins overflowed in Tynemouth, in the north east of England, and locals were forced to take to the beach yesterday to collect the rubbish left behind
Speaking yesterday to Sky News, two women from Bournemouth said the huge crowds of people on the beach were ‘a bit’ mad and claimed ‘no one else seemed to care’ about social distancing.
Another woman said she did not believe social distancing was taking place on the beach and two others said they would not ‘come back any time soon’ because it was so busy.
A major incident was declared in the town on Thursday as 500,000 visitors overwhelmed Dorset, with the authorities activating an ’emergency response’ after they clogged up roads and dumped tons of litter.
Coastal beauty spots around the country also saw drunken fights amid blatant flouting of two-metre social distancing rules by crowds of young revellers despite Britain still being in lockdown to fight the spread of Covid-19.
In Brighton large piles of rubbish were left on the seafront on Thursday and were still there yesterday morning
There are fears over a resurgence of coronavirus as the heatwave triggered a frenzied rush to the seaside.
In a bid to cut down on the volume of visitors, Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned the government had the power to shut beaches if the chaos continued.
Chief medical officer Chris Whitty gave a similar message on Twitter: ‘COVID-19 has gone down due to the efforts of everyone but is still in general circulation.
‘If we do not follow social distancing guidance then cases will rise again.
Popular coastal spot Durdle Door had piles of rubbish building up after the beach was cleared on Thursday
Council workers were out in force in Brighton, working all morning in a clean up operation to collection all the rubbish which was left on Thursday
‘Naturally people will want to enjoy the sun but we need to do so in a way that is safe for all.
In Bournemouth, residents have spoken about the ‘mayhem’ as tens of thousands of sun-worshippers descended on Bournemouth beach ‘with no idea of social distancing’.
Local resident Pat Munday, 73, described how cars were double-parking and blocking driveways, preventing emergency vehicles from getting through, while people were using the gardens of her apartment block as a toilet on Wednesday and Thursday.
She said: ‘It was just mayhem, people just want to have a good time but they just don’t give a monkey’s about others. It’s a shame, it’s such a beautiful part of the country but people just need some control, people have lost all sense of respect – when they urinate in your garden, it’s the pits.’
Vic Williams, 75, said: ‘There was no idea of social distancing, when we left at 2pm the crowds were still arriving, there wasn’t any two metres. Because the restaurants are closed, there’s nowhere else for people to go.’
The rubbish left on Bournemouth beach on Thursday ranged from beer bottles, food packaging and takeaway wrappers
A major incident was declared in Bournemouth on Thursday as 500,000 people flocked to the coastal hotspot
Mr Williams said the council’s tractors had been out in the early hours clearing up the tonnes of rubbish left.
He added: ‘The litter afterwards was unbelievable, they just walk away from the beach and leave their rubbish, there were tents left, BBQs, it costs us ratepayers a fortune.’
A senior lifeguard said there was an ‘excessive’ number of people during the hottest days, and added: ‘Bournemouth has a reputation as one of the best beaches in Europe … but it’s important we work together so everyone can feel safe.’
Jessa Bane, 18, and a group of friends travelled down from the Reading area to enjoy the beach after finishing college. She said: ‘We have created our own social bubble by drawing a line in the sand around us to make sure we can social distance.’
Visitors to Bournemouth beach claimed people were not social distanced and said the situation was ‘a bit mad’
A busy beach at West Wittering in West Sussex on Friday as Britons continued to basked in hot temperatures
Asked about the situation on beaches, a Downing Street spokesman told a Westminster briefing: ‘Everyone should be able to enjoy the sunshine, and we understand that people want to enjoy public spaces, but it is important we don’t undo the hard work of the British public in reducing the transmission of this virus.
‘It is a matter for local authorities to manage numbers, alongside emergency services and Public Health England.
‘They are best placed to make those decisions on a case-by-case basis. We have been clear that should we see case numbers increase we will introduce local lockdowns.’