Public urged to remain at home as temperatures set to rise

The government has urged people not to flout lockdown rules during warm Sunday temperatures Picture

The government has urged people not to flout lockdown rules during warm Sunday temperatures Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

People are being urged to remain at home today as Suffolk and Essex look set to bask in wall-to-wall sunshine.

The plea comes after Suffolk Police revealed they received a number of calls about people flouting rules to stay at home.

A spokesman for the force said: “We have been receiving reports from all over the county.

“If we have to enforce the fines then we will, but we are trying to educate people of the importance of the rules in the first instance.”

On Saturday, concerns were raised about Orwell Country Park.

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One man said he saw people with picnic sets when he went out on his daily exercise.

Jody Richardson, 43 said he “saw in the region of 25 to 30 people” and “very little or no social distancing” when he went for a walk with his partner and children at Orwell Country Park this afternoon.

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He told the PA news agency: “We felt so disgusted that it was happening in our area that we cut short our walk with our children and our dog and turned around and headed home.

“There was very little room on the paths to be able to safely avoid people and leave the two metre gap.”

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Temperatures are expected to be warmer today than they were on Saturday.

“It is going to be hotter in the western parts of the county, with temperatures likely to reach up to around 18C,” said forecaster Adam Dury at Norwich-based Weatherquest.

“The eastern and coastal areas will not be as warm, perhaps around 13C to 14C but nevertheless it will be a sunny day without a cloud in the sky.”

This morning West Suffolk MP and Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed that sunbathing in public spaces was against the coronavirus social distancing rules, as he warned those flouting the advice that they were putting people’s lives at risk.

He told Sky News’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday: “The vast majority of people are following the public health advice, which is absolutely critical, and staying at home.

“But there are a small minority of people who are still not doing that - it’s quite unbelievable frankly to see that there are some people who are not following the advice.”

Asked whether sunbathing in public spaces was against the law, he said: “Sunbathing is against the rules that have been set out for important public health reasons.”

Mr Hancock said that the government would consider banning people from exercising outside their home if people failed to follow the rules.

He said: “If the result of that is that too many people go out and flout the other rules because they say ‘well if I can exercise then it’s fine for me to do other things’ then I’m afraid we will have to take action.

“I don’t want to have to take that action, of course I don’t, but we have already demonstrated that we are prepared to take the action that’s necessary to get this virus under control.

“So my message is really clear. If you don’t want us to have to take the step to ban exercise of all forms outside of your own home then you’ve got to follow the rules and the vast majority people are following the rules.

“Let’s not have a minority spoiling it for everybody.”

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