Directors of public health warned they were “increasingly concerned” the Government was making the wrong judgment by easing lockdown restrictions far too quickly as people began to make the most of the revised rules. The Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH) said pictures of crowded beaches and beauty spots over the weekend showed “the public is not keeping to social distancing as it was”.
We have seen signs that the public is no longer keeping as strictly to social distancing as it was
Police in the north London borough of Brent were called to break up an “unlicenced music event” overnight as hundreds of revellers shrugged off social distancing measures to party into until the early hours.
Fireworks were shot towards a circling police helicopter and video footage posted on social media showed people dancing closely together the event which was a clear breach of the revised coronavirus restrictions.
The latest rules that came into effect on Monday state six people, including mixed households, are allowed to meet in outside spaces as long as social distancing is strictly followed.
A Metropolitan Police spokeswoman confirmed officers were “engaging and dispersing a large group of people”.
She said: “Police are currently in the area of Gifford Road, NW10, following reports of a unlicensed music event.
“Officers are engaging and dispersing a large group of people gathered in the area.
“There has been one arrest. The National Police Air Service is providing assistance.”
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There have also been astonishing scenes in coastal areas as lockdown-weary Brits took advantage of the relaxed restrictions and the hot weather by heading straight for the beach.
One of the most popular destinations appeared to by Durdle Door in Dorset and its famous beaches, cliffs and rock formation.
But the crowds of sunseekers that descended on the area have been condemned by a conservation charity for the showing “shocking” disregard for the beauty spot.
The Jurassic Coast Trust described the “shocking events” of three people suffering serious injuries at the Dorset beauty spot after leaping from the top of the limestone arch, which is 200ft high.
Thousands of people were evacuated from the beach and surrounding cliff area to allow air ambulances to land.
Beaches were soon crowded after lockdown restrictions were lifted
Lucy Culkin, chief executive of the charity, said it had received hundreds of messages from members of the public since the weekend.
She said these highlighted the “appalling volume of litter” on beaches, including human waste, sanitary items, and surgical masks and gloves, as well as disposable barbecues.
She said: “The lack of respect for our coastline shown by some has deeply saddened our local communities and visitors alike.
“It was clear to see that some had all but forgotten the guidelines of social distancing or welfare for themselves and others, or indeed any respect for the natural environment they were visiting.”
She said that despite pleas for people to consider travelling to Dorset, many seemed determined to visit “at any cost”.
Councillor Vikki Slade, the leader of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council, wrote to local MPs and the chief constable of Dorset Police about the issue.
Cllr Slade said she had witnessed people failing to follow social distancing rules, illegal parking, widespread barbecues in hot, dry conditions and staff facing abuse.
James Weld, the owner of the Lulworth Estate on which Durdle Door is situated, said the easing of lockdown restrictions to allow for unlimited travel in England had resulted in an “unacceptable influx of visitors”.
He said: “It is clear that the restriction on travelling should have been limited to local journeys only, which would not have resulted in the huge pressures being suddenly foisted on local road networks and on sites such as Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door.
“Unrestricted travel has undoubtedly led to the unacceptable influx of visitors, despite the enormously damaging effects of restrictions on the economy and on jobs.”
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Sunseekers head for the beach at Durdle Door in Dorset
A spokesman for the Association of Directors of Public Health said: “Over the weekend we have seen signs that the public is no longer keeping as strictly to social distancing as it was.
“Along with this, we are concerned that the resolve on personal hygiene measures, and the need to immediately self-isolate, if symptomatic, is waning.
“A relentless effort to regain and rebuild public confidence and trust following recent events is essential.”
Published at Wed, 03 Jun 2020 07:46:00 +0000