Connect with us

Featured

Coronavirus: ‘This isn’t a normal bank holiday’ – Britons warned to stay home | UK News

Published

on

Britons are being warned this isn’t a “normal bank holiday weekend” in a bid to encourage them to resist the temptations of the warm weather and stop the spread of coronavirus.

A top police officer said if some people continued ignoring the COVID-19 lockdown laws over the Easter weekend then the government could impose tougher measures.

John Apter, national chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, pleaded with those people still ignoring the rules to stay indoors – despite what’s forecast to be a bright and sunny few days for many.

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - APRIL 10: Benches are taped off along the beach promenade on April 10, 2020 in Bournemouth, United Kingdom. There have been over 60,000 reported cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus in the United Kingdom and 7,000 deaths. The country is in its third week of lockdown measures aimed at slowing the spread of the virus. (Photo by Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images)
Image:
Benches are taped off on Bournemouth promenade
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 10: An image of Queen Elizabeth II and quotes from her broadcast to the nation in relation to the coronavirus epidemic are displayed on screens in Piccadilly Circus on April 10, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
Image:
Confirmation that the lockdown will be extended is expected next week

So far, at least 7,978 people with COVID-19 have died across the UK.

The UK is just over two weeks into the lockdown, which looks set to be extended by the government at the promised review point next Thursday.



Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab holds the Covid-19 Digital Press Conference with Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance and Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty in 10 Downing Street



‘We’re not done yet’ – Raab urges people to resist the sunshine

David Lewis, deputy chief constable of Dorset Police, told Sky News that officers would be stationed on arterial roads to check people aren’t visiting holiday homes or beauty spots this weekend.

“My guidance would be: If you have to ask yourself ‘is this an essential journey’ then it probably isn’t, so turn round and stay home,” he said.

A deserted stretch of the M56 is pictured at the start of the Easter weekend, in north-west England on April 10, 2020 as Britain continued to battle the outbreak of the novel coronavirus COVID-19. - The disease has struck at the heart of the British government, infected more than 60,000 people nationwide and killed over 7,000, with another record daily death toll of 938 reported on April 8. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
Image:
Some forces will be checking key roads to ensure people aren’t breaking the rules

Police Federation chief Mr Apter said the “vast majority” of Britons are following the law but a minority are either “genuinely confused by the guidance or they’re completely oblivious to the dangers”.

“Policing is a tough job at the best of times but in some areas it’s making that difficult job even more difficult,” he told Sky News’ All Out Politics.

“I would beg the public – please, take the advice and stay at home, unless you have to venture out for those essential journeys.”

:: Listen to the All Out Politics podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker

He warned if people were allowed to sit and have barbecues in parks – even if with members of their own house and observing social distancing – then it would quickly turn into “any other normal bank holiday weekend where the parks are packed full of people wanting to enjoy the sunshine”.

“We are not in a normal bank holiday weekend, and it’s about trying to encourage and support the public,” Mr Apter added.

“This is not lockdown; lockdown is what we’ve seen on mainland Europe and we don’t want to go there.

“But my fear is that if people continue to ignore this guidance, these rules that have been laid before parliament, then the government could go further. Nobody wants that.”

Stephen Powis, medical director of NHS England, reiterated the point – telling Sky News that “just because the sun is out doesn’t mean we should be out”.

He urged people to stay at home so the country can “lock down the benefits of the lockdown” and stop more deaths.







Inside one of London’s worst-hit hospitals

“We’re hopeful we’re beginning to see a plateau. But we need to keep complying with the instructions – that’s the way that plateau will then translate into a drop,” he explained.

“And that’s the way we will have the best chance of minimising the number of deaths we will see.”

Advertisement Find your dream job

Trending