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‘Stay at home’ plea as public sunbathing is banned in coronavirus lockdown

PUBLISHED: 10:47 05 April 2020 | UPDATED: 16:51 05 April 2020

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has warned that public sunbathing is banned in lockdown. Photo credit: Aaron Chown/PA Wire

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has warned that public sunbathing is banned in lockdown. Photo credit: Aaron Chown/PA Wire

People are being urged to stay at home as the warmer weather continues.

With temperatures expected to rise on Sunday (April 5), the health secretary, Matt Hancock, said that public sunbathing is not allowed during the lockdown.

It comes after people were spotted flouting the coronavirus rules – and it has prompted fresh pleas from councils, police and the clinical commissioning group serving the Norfolk and Waveney area for the public to adhere to the lockdown.

Normanston Park in Lowestoft. Picture: Google ImagesNormanston Park in Lowestoft. Picture: Google Images

A Suffolk Police spokesman said they were inundated with calls on Saturday about people flouting rules to stay at home – with reports received “from all over the county.”

MORE: Coronavirus: Nine things that may never be the same again

While many were adhering to the lockdown and following the advice, concerns were raised that Fen Park in Kirkley, Normanston Park in Lowestoft and the nearby skatepark had been particularly busy on Saturday.

On Sunday morning, Health Secretary Matt Hancock told Sky News that sunbathing in public spaces was against the coronavirus social distancing rules.

He told Sophy Ridge On Sunday: “Sunbathing is against the rules that have been set out for important public health reasons.”

He warned rulebreakers: “You are putting others’ lives at risk and you are putting yourself in harm’s way.”

East Suffolk Council Tweeted: “The ONLY reasons you should leave your home are to buy essentials or for exercise.

“Sunbathing in parks and on beaches is NOT exercise.”

Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey added on Twitter: “Prevention is better than cure.

“Each of us needs to do our bit to stop the spread.

“Only leave home today if it is essential.”

The NHS Norfolk and Waveney CCG Tweeted: “The weather might be sunny but please stay home and save lives.

“Coronavirus:anyone can get it, anyone can spread it.

“Stay home.

“Protect the NHS.

“Save lives.”

According to Met Office meteorologist Steven Keates, it is predicted that Sunday will be “a beautiful spring day” with “blue skies and sunshine for much of the day for much of the UK”.

He added that some parts of the UK “could be seeing 20-21C”, which would be “the first time we’ve reached over 20 since October 1 last year”.


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