Britons urged to obey coronavirus restrictions amid warm weather

British health authorities on Wednesday warned that Britons should obey the Covid-19 restriction rules and remain cautious over coronavirus in order to check the spread of the virus as people gathered outdoors to enjoy the sunshine.

“We need to obey the rules as they are,” Sian Griffiths, a senior public health official, told BBC Radio 5 Live. “If we want to control the spread of the virus, it’s much better to be seeing people outside… But we also need to be keeping our distance from each other,” Xinhua news agency reported.

His comment came as thousands gathered in parks and beaches as the temperature in Britain soared this week, prompting concerns of possible breaches of Covid-19 restrictions.

The mercury peaked at 24.5 degrees Celsius at Kew Gardens in west London on Tuesday, with St James’s Park in the center of the British capital also hitting highs of 24.3 degrees Celsius.

The figure is only slightly below Britain’s hottest ever March temperature of 25.6 degrees Celsius, recorded in 1968 at Mepal in Cambridgeshire in eastern England.

Crowds of sun-seekers flocked to parks and beaches to enjoy the warm weather on Tuesday, 48 hours after restrictions were eased.

“When I see the pictures I do get anxious,” said Griffiths.

“If we’re not in a household bubble we need to be two meters apart and I don’t think those pictures look like that’s happening.”

British Health Secretary Matt Hancock also issued a warning Tuesday night. “Let’s enjoy the sun but let’s do it safely. We have come so far, don’t blow it now,” he said on Twitter.

Another 4,040 people in Britain have tested positive for Covid-19, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 4,341,736, according to official figures released on Tuesday.

The country also reported another 56 coronavirus-related deaths. The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain stood at 126,670. These figures only include the deaths of people who died within 28 days of their first positive test.

From Monday, two households or groups of up to six were allowed to meet outside, including in private gardens, and outdoor team sports are reopening.

From April 12, non-essential retail, as well as restaurants and pubs, if serving people outdoors, will be allowed to reopen in England.

On February 22, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his roadmap exiting the lockdown, the third of its kind since the start of the pandemic in the country. The four-step plan is expected to see all legal restrictions in England being removed by mid-June.

Experts have warned that Britain is “still not out of the woods” amid concerns over new variants and the third wave of the pandemic in the European continent.