United Kingdom

Councils beg staycationers heading to the coast to soak up today's 95F sun elsewhere

Councils are begging staycationers looking to head back to the coast today and soak up the sun to stay away from beaches after record numbers packed the seafront yesterday - with little signs of social distancing.

Thousands of sun-seekers flocked to the seaside despite Government warnings on what was the UK's hottest August day since 2003.

Visitors arrived in Bournemouth as early as 3am yesterday to try and secure the best spots, with 19 of 24 beaches along that stretch of the Dorset coast full up by midday, at which time there had already been 70 coastguard callouts across the UK.

A council-run app in the area showed how beaches including Sandbanks were packed by 10.30am and listed areas under 'avoid, social distancing not possible'. 

With the mercury set to rise to 95F today, and the RAC expecting the busiest weekend of the year, local authorities are pleading with people to stay away and avoid a repeat of yesterday's crowds, where many appeared unbothered by fears of coronavirus as groups mixed without masks - despite rising cases in the UK driving fears of a second wave.

Dylan Bullard, a councillor from Pwllheli, North Wales, told the Telegraph the town was a scene of 'bedlam' yesterday.

He added: 'If you're thinking of coming into town, please consider leaving it to later.

'The car parks are full and cars are parked illegally. Social distancing is impossible at the moment, and people are queuing to get into shops.'

Lines of sunbathers and parasols filled the beaches in Dorset, pictured, yesterday on another scorching hot day, with temperatures set to hit 90F again today

Visitors arrived in Bournemouth as early as 3am yesterday to try and secure the best spots, with 19 of 24 beaches along that stretch of the Dorset coast full up by midday

Revellers last night appeared unworried by coronavirus fears, despite cases in the UK rising steadily in the last month amid fears of a second wave

Revellers queued in large numbers to enter the recently-reopened Astoria nightclub in Portsmouth, Hampshire yesterday 

Temperatures will remain high into the 30s across the south of England on Saturday with more sunshine on Sunday before clouds roll in on Monday with the potential for storms later in the week

Thanet District Council in Kent also saw its popular beaches including Main Sands in Margate and Joss Bay in Broadstairs, wearing capacity by mid-afternoon, prompting leaders District Council to urge visitors to consider alternatives.

Angry locals in Bournemouth also hit out at tourists 'heading here with cars full of rubbish to dump on our beaches' and slammed 'careless idiots' putting pressure on the emergency services, while in Northumberland, there were even reports of vehicles blocking emergency access to beaches. 

As temperatures cooled slightly into the evening, revellers crowded into bars and poured out into the streets, with many still foregoing face coverings and ignoring social distancing measures into the early hours. 

It came after Preston's director of public health warned mixing in pubs was to blame for the area being put back into lockdown.

Speaking at a media briefing after the announcement the city had been designated an 'area of intervention' on Friday, director of Public Health for Lancashire Sakthi Karunanithi said almost half of the cases reported were among people aged 30 and younger.

Health chiefs warned the measures for the Lancashire city - home to 140,000 people - will be kept under review but threatened tougher action if residents don't abide by the rules. 

All residents are now banned from mixing with any other households indoors or in a garden, in a last-ditch attempt to curb soaring rates of coronavirus. They have also been urged to avoid meeting with friends in any setting, such as pubs and restaurants.

The city council today urged youngsters to stick to social-distancing as it was revealed half of the coronavirus cases in Preston are under the age of 30. 

Britain yesterday recorded another 871 Covid-19 cases as official data shows the number of people getting diagnosed with the life-threatening disease each day has dropped for the first time in a fortnight.

Department of Health statistics reveal 834 new infections are being registered each day ‚ÄĒ down slightly from the rolling seven-day average of 835 yesterday. But the number of patients testing positive daily is still much higher than the four-month low figure of 546 on July 8.

Cases have steadily risen since over the past month, fuelling fears of a second wave. But separate figures released yesterday suggested the number of people getting infected with coronavirus in England may have actually dropped 12 per cent in a week. 

The Office for National Statistics (ONS), which tracks the size of the outbreak through swab tests of thousands of people, now believes there are 3,700 people in England catching Covid-19 each day. Its estimate of 4,200 daily cases last week prompted Boris Johnson to declare he was 'squeezing the brake pedal' on easing the coronavirus lockdown. 

The Office for National Statistics (ONS), which tracks the size of the outbreak by swabbing thousands of people, now believes there are 3,700 people in England getting infected with Covid-19 each day. It is 12 per cent down on the 4,200 made in the government-run agency's estimate last week, when they warned there was 'enough evidence' to prove cases were spiralling

Government scientific advisers yesterday warned the coronavirus reproduction rate could now be as high as one right across the UK. SAGE estimates the R value - the average number of people each Covid-19 patient infects - is now between 0.8 and 1.0, up from last week's prediction that it was hovering around 0.8 and 0.9. 

Experts say the R needs to stay below one or Governments risk losing control of the epidemic and the virus could spiral back out of control.

Travel chaos is expected this weekend as The AA said it anticipates up to 10 per cent more journeys being made.

It warned drivers to expect queues building near coastal locations, particularly in popular seaside destinations in south-west England, Blackpool, the Welsh coast and Norfolk.

Ben Sheridan, from The AA, said: 'Motorways, coastal routes and roads to ferry crossings are likely to be busy.

'Many drivers will be hitting the road early to beat the heat, while others will stay home to stay cool.'

RAC Breakdown said it is expecting this weekend to be the busiest of the year for the company, as traffic jams and long delays look 'inevitable'.

Drivers are being urged to check the oil and coolant levels in their vehicles to avoid breakdowns in the sweltering heat, as well as making sure tyres are pumped up to the correct pressures and have good tread.

RAC spokesman Simon Williams said: 'It's also important to have plenty of water and food in case drivers find themselves stuck for long periods.

'We'd also remind people never to leave young children or animals in parked cars in high temperatures.'

Delays and cancellations are likely for rail passengers, as high temperatures can damage overhead wires and lead to speed restrictions due to fears of tracks buckling. 

HM Coastguard warned people to stay safe on the beach after rescue teams responded to 70 callouts across the UK by midday today - 'above average for this time of year', one week after its busiest day for more than four years.  

The very hot conditions, which have been caused by air warming up over France before being drawn north, have led to health warnings. 

Britain has never recorded two days with temperatures over 99F (37C) in the same year since records began.

Parts of the South of England are even expected to be hotter than the Caribbean, with highs of 91F (33C) in Jamaica and 84F (29C) Barbados.

The Met Office has also issued a level-three heat health alert which warns Britons to look out for the elderly, vulnerable and young children.

Football news:

Juventus may sign Napoli striker Llorente
Atletico offered Cavani a 1+1 contract after signing Suarez
De Boer on the Netherlands national team: I don't care if I was the 1st, 2nd or 5th candidate. There are always opponents
Jimenez on England: I didn't know where Wolverhampton was before. I only knew about Newcastle and London
Milik's transfer to Roma failed. Everton are Interested in Napoli forward
Neymar commented on Messi's post about Suarez's departure: It's incredible how they do business ūü§¶ ‚ôā ÔłŹ
Real Madrid forward mayoral is close to moving to Roma