Photos emerge of crowds flocking to beaches in UK, ignoring social distancing rules

Tourists enjoy the hot weather at Bournemouth beach on 25 May 25, 2020. Source: Getty

Warm weather and a public holiday has resulted in packed beaches in Britain, despite coronavirus warnings.

Thousands of Brits have ignored medical warnings and flocked to beaches around the country on Monday as the country marked a public holiday.

Pictures from coastal resort town Bournemouth on England's south coast showed thousands of people packed onto the beach, many failing to observe social distancing.

Similar scenes were reported elsewhere in the country.

 Tourists enjoy the hot weather at Bournemouth beach on May 25, 2020 in Bournemouth, United Kingdom.
People flocked to Bournemouth beach on May 25, 2020.
Getty

Social media users expressed their anger and frustration at the blatant flouting of coronavirus restrictions.

Many linked the crowded breaches to the leadership set by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in standing by his embattled chief advisor Dominic Cummings, who also breached coronavirus lockdown rules.

“Bournemouth looking pretty quiet again today,” one Twitter user wrote sarcastically.

“Lockdown is clearly working. The clear messaging and adherence by Boris Johnson and his team is an example to us all.”

The crowds prompted the local council to urge tourists to stay away. 

It comes as Mr Johnson said that Britain could reopen all non-essential retail stores on 15 June if the coronavirus remains contained.

"On June 15, we intend to allow all non-essential retail, ranging from department stores to small independent shops, to reopen," Mr Johnson told reporters, stressing that this "will be contingent upon progress against" the disease.

Beach goers flouted social distancing rules at Bournemouth beach.
Beach goers flouted social distancing rules at Bournemouth beach.
Getty Images Europe

Britain's official coronavirus death toll of 36,914 is Europe's highest.

But the number of new deaths and infections has fallen sharply from its peak and the country is on course to reopen outdoor markets as well as schools for younger children on 1 June.

"Because of the progress we are making, I can, with confidence, put the British people on notice of the changes we intend to introduce as we move into step two,"  Mr Johnson said

He said classes can resume for the oldest children on 15 June.

"We are asking schools gradually to reopen," he said.

"I am confident that the common sense of the British people will see us through."

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your state’s restrictions on gathering limits. Testing for coronavirus is now widely available across Australia.

If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080. The federal government's coronavirus tracing app COVIDSafe is available for download from your phone's app store.

SBS is committed to informing Australia’s diverse communities about the latest COVID-19 developments. News and information is available in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus.

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