United Kingdom

NHS trusts in Scotland urge people to 'walk like penguins' to prevent falls in the snow 

People in Scotland have been urged to 'walk like a penguin' in order to avoid falling over on pavements in the snow and ice.

As Britain continues to brace through the current cold snap, and with yet more freezing temperatures expected today, NHS trusts have issued the odd edict, which instructs people to keep their weight over their standing leg as they walk.

One trust to share the advice, NHS Lothian, says that by walking like a penguin people can street clear of hospitals due to injuries from 'avoidable accidents in the ice and snow'.

But while some took to social media to praise the advice, others mocked the edict - which was similarly ridiculed when shared by NHS trusts in England during 2018's Beast from East.

One Twitter user, Dean Kelly, said: 'How did we survive hundreds of thousands of years with such sage advice from NHS numpties? Someone tell the Eskimos!'

However other praised it, including one user who said: 'Thank you!! Must remember next time so as to remain upright!'

As Britain continues to brace through the recent cold snap, and with yet more freezing temperatures expected today, NHS trusts in Scotland have issued the odd edict, which instructs people to keep their weight over their standing leg as they walk

Members of the public walk in a misty Balloch Country Park on in Balloch, Scotland, yesterday after snow and freezing temperatures struck

One trust to share the advice, NHS Lothian, says that by walking like a penguin people in Scotland can help keep patients out of hospital through 'avoidable accidents in the ice and snow'

It comes as police forces across the country were yesterday slammed for threatening snowball fighters with £200 fines as an Arctic ice blast brought six inches of the white stuff to the UK on Sunday.

Forces in Wiltshire, London and Surrey sent out warnings urging families not to break lockdown when frolicking in the snow, saying 'Covid regulations still apply' and social distancing must be maintained.

Anyone caught breaking lockdown rules - including exercising outdoors with more than one member of another household - could be hit with a £200 fine.

Outraged Britons took to Twitter to slam police for discouraging people from playing outdoors - with some saying forces' resources could be put to better use elsewhere.

Police warnings will be especially disheartening for Britons keen to venture out into a snow-covered wonderland for a second day running as a further three inches of snow is set to fall overnight.

The Met Office said the mercury could dip between minus 4C (24.8F) and minus 6C (21.2F) going into Monday - with parts of the Midlands told to brace for minus 10C (14F).

An amber weather warning for snow is in place covering an area from Nottingham to Stoke-on-Trent, meaning travel disruption and power cuts are likely.

In a bid to deter any potential lockdown rule breakers, Surrey Police tweeted: 'We are currently receiving lots of calls and reports relating to snowballs being thrown and people outside sledging.

'Enjoy the snow today but please don't involve other people, particularly more vulnerable residents. Please stay safe and remember that Covid regulations do still apply.'

Wiltshire Police inspector Louis McCoy wrote: 'I don't want to be dealing with sledgers and snowball fights. There's still a lockdown on. Think about it, don't be tempted.'

Kingston Police in west London urged revellers to enjoy the snow 'from the comfort of your own home' as 'there's a pandemic going on'.

Police in the London borough of Merton comically added: 'Sorry to be "that grumpy relative" but with the snow coming down the way it is, please drive carefully.

'And if you’re going to have a snowball fight, please stick to your bubbles. Also do not eat yellow snow.'

Police in Swindon today dispersed 200 people sledging in a park due to fears that social distancing measures were not being maintained.

People play in the snow on Primrose Hill in London as the capital experiences a rare covering of snow on Sunday

Police forces across the country have been slammed for threatening snowball fighters with £200 fines as an Arctic ice blast brought six inches of the white stuff to the UK on Sunday. Pictured: Police in a snow-covered Greenwich park

Responding to Wiltshire Police's warning, Adam Finch wrote: 'Any chance you could use the time when you’re not stopping snowball fights and sledging to find my stolen car?'

Sammy added: 'So is taking the kids out sledging not exercise? Do you think maybe it's about time the police stopped disgracing themselves by enforcing laws that don't actually exist?'

Another Twitter user wrote: 'God forbid that children locked down and not able to go to school should have some fun.'

Whether playing in the snow counts as exercise has been a point of contention during England's third national lockdown.

Earlier this month, the Broseley and Much Wenlock division of West Mercia Police threatened to fine people £200 for playing in the snow.

An amber weather warning for snow is in place covering an area from Nottingham to Stoke-on-Trent, meaning travel disruption and power cuts are likely

A tweet, which has since been deleted, read: 'There have been two reports of snowballs being thrown last night between 11 and 11.30pm.

'This is obviously not a justifiable reason to be out of your house, this behaviour is likely to result in a £200 Fixed Penalty Notice for breaking the lockdown rules.' 

Police warnings did not dishearten revellers who took full advantage of the snowy weather on Sunday, flocking to frolic and build snowmen, with a snowball fight even breaking out outside Buckingham Palace. 

By mid-morning on Sunday, the flakes were falling thick and fast in London and elsewhere, with the Met Office saying that up to six inches could fall by the end of the day.

And Monday will only get worse, with parts of the Midlands potentially recording 15cm (6in) of snowfall by the end of the day, with the snow expected to remain on the ground well into next week.

Meteorologist Simon Partridge said: 'The band of snow that came through overnight stalled over the Midlands and will then track its way back over south-east England.'

He added: 'Our main focus is that it is going to be a really cold night, particularly across central and southern parts of the UK - so the whole of Northern Ireland, all of Wales, most of the southern half of England from the Midlands and southwards.'

Mr Partridge added: 'Temperatures are expected to dip to between minus 4C (24.8F) and minus 6C (21.2F) quite widely tonight and where we get that snow lying in parts of the Midlands we could see one or two places where temperatures are as low as minus 10C (14F).'

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