What a difference a year makes: Coronavirus lockdown bites into Easter bank holiday with beaches deserted and roads empty as Britons heed ‘stay at home’ warnings
- Popular beaches at Bournemouth, Brighton and Weymouth deserted this morning as Britons stayed home
- Typically busy motorways were also eerily quiet on what is normally one of the busiest days for car journeys
- Photographs taken this Good Friday show a very different scene to the bustling bank holiday of a year ago
Beaches were deserted and motorways were empty this Good Friday as Britons took notice of warnings to stay at home – in scenes far from the bustling bank holiday weekend of a year ago.
Police have stepped up patrols and road checks this weekend as they warned would-be revellers to stay away from beauty spots as the country prepares to enter its fourth week of coronavirus lockdown on Easter Monday.
The strict lockdown measures, which were announced on March 23, were put in place in an effort to keep people inside and halt the spread of the virus, which has killed 7,978 amid 65,077 confirmed cases in the UK.
But despite rules banning public gatherings and asking Britons to stay inside aside from essential trips to supermarkets and daily exercise, police have been forced to break up beach barbecues and dozens of house parties over recent weeks.
Police chiefs have even called for laws to ban Britons from driving long distances and flouting rules to exercise more than once a day ahead of a 77F (25C) Easter weekend.
But Britons appeared to have taken notice of these warnings as the four-day break began, with typically busy motorways left eerily quiet on Good Friday – which is usually one of the busiest days of the year for car journeys.
Popular beaches at Brighton, Bournemouth and Weymouth were also deserted this morning in photographs far from the bustling seaside scenes captured over the bank holiday weekend last year.
Temperatures are expected to reach highs of 77F (25C) this Good Friday, before soaring to 79F (26C) in the south on Saturday. Forecasters expect temperatures to be cooler on Sunday and Monday, with some showers predicted.
Bournemouth Beach was deserted this morning (right) in photographs far from those taken on the bank holiday weekend a year earlier (left)
The M25 near Dartford in Kent was also eerily quiet this morning (right) compared to the busy traffic of the four-day holiday last year (left)
In Lyme Regis, Dorset, Britons heeded police warnings to stay home (right) despite the soaring temperatures expected this weekend (Pictured left: Lyme Regis in 2019)
In Weymouth, the beach was completely empty this morning despite the sunny and warm weather, with temperatures expected to hit 77F (25C) in the UK
Last year, the popular Dorset beach was crowded with families enjoying a day out together on deckchairs on Good Friday
In Brighton, both the beloved pier and typically busy beach were deserted this morning as the four-day weekend began
This was far from the scene photographed last year (pictured) which saw hundreds of people take to the beach with deckchairs to enjoy the sunny weather
In South Shields, South Tyneside, the popular Colman’s fish and chip shop was abandoned after it shut up shop due to coronavirus measures
Last year on Good Friday, dozens of people had queued outside the eatery to grab a takeaway for a traditional holiday meal
Only a handful of cars were seen on the M25 near Dartford in Kent ahead of the bank holiday weekend (pictured)
A year earlier, dozens of vehicles were seen waiting in traffic as families embarked on trips away from their homes for the four-day break
The Long Walk in Windsor was also quiet today as people walked their dogs and went for runs amid the nationwide coronavirus lockdown
Last year, the area was bustling with people enjoying a walk or a picnic with their loved ones as the four-day bank holiday began