Coronavirus madness as thousands defy advice and head to pubs, parks and beaches

Weekend crowds endangered lives as they filled parks, beaches, garden centres and supermarkets despite pleas to stay home to stop the spread of coronavirus.

It came as an 18-year-old became the youngest in England to die from the virus.

The teenager was among 37 deaths in England, all in vulnerable groups including people with underlying health conditions.

Yet as the UK’s death toll hit 244 and confirmed cases topped 5,000, sunseekers crowded popular spots despite terrifying warnings of the consequences to society’s most vulnerable and an already struggling NHS.

a group of people walking down the street: People packed Bournemouth esplanade yesterday© Provided by Mirror People packed Bournemouth esplanade yesterdayPolice bosses had to warn people to stay away from beauty spots such as the Lake District, telling them: “This is not a holiday.”

Boris Johnson threatened to shut parks and impose a curfew if people fail to follow social distancing advice. The Prime Minister said: “If people don’t do that, then yes of course we’re going to have to bring in tougher measures.”

He added: “We’ll think about this very actively in the next 24 hours. We need to think about the kind of measures we’ve seen elsewhere – other countries that have been forced to bring in restrictions on people’s movements altogether.”

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Police bosses warned 'this is not a holiday'© Provided by Mirror Police bosses warned ‘this is not a holiday’

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick warned: “We don’t want to go down that route. But this isn’t a game; this is very serious.”

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Jenny Harries slammed the “dangerous” crowds filling public spaces and making outside environments “unavailable” to others, particularly the vulnerable who need to get fresh air as they self-isolate.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said “life should not feel normal” now, and if it did, you should ask “if you are doing the right things”.

As crowds packed the Lake District over the weekend, Cumbria Assistant Chief Constable Andrew Slattery said: “A national emergency shutdown of businesses and schools is not an excuse for a holiday.”

Tourists were also slammed for crowding into the North Yorkshire seaside town of Whitby.

a group of people standing in front of a sign: The costal town of Whitby, Yorkshire, packed with tourists ignoring the social distancing advice© Provided by Mirror The costal town of Whitby, Yorkshire, packed with tourists ignoring the social distancing advice

Resident Lucy Whelan said: “They’ve queued for fish and chips, gone to the arcades and filled the car parks. And they should have stayed at home. Our incredible NHS are putting their lives at risk for us and yet some people are treating this as a holiday. They need to wake up – fast.”

One of Britain’s biggest holiday companies, Parkdean Resorts, closed its 67 caravan and lodge parks today.

The National Trust has also closed its parks, Cornwall’s Eden Project has closed and the Royal Horticultural Society has shut its gardens.

Lincolnshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner begged visitors to stay away from Skegness, following reports that the seaside resort was “packed” on Saturday.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, warned people across the country that although the spread of the virus was further advanced in the capital, “this is coming to you”.

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Shoppers at Dudley Tesco during coronavirus panic buying© Provided by Mirror Shoppers at Dudley Tesco during coronavirus panic buying

Stores across the High Street are closing down as the pandemic worsens. John Lewis is closing 50 stores and Debenhams is set to follow.

Primark closed its stores until further notice. Pret A Manger, Starbucks and Harrods, are all also temporarily closing. But supermarkets remained packed, with selfish panic-buyers crashing shopping hours reserved for NHS workers.

Footage showed hundreds of people at a Tesco in Dudley, West Mids, which opened at 9am for NHS staff only. Witnesses said shoppers were fighting, with a crush at the door.

a group of people walking on a sidewalk: Thousands of people flocked to Barry Island, South Wales to enjoy the sunshine© Provided by Mirror Thousands of people flocked to Barry Island, South Wales to enjoy the sunshine

A Tesco in Cambridgeshire had to shut after selfish shoppers invaded the NHS staff hour. A family at Tesco Extra in Gallions Reach, East London, rammed their trollies into the barriers in a bid to join the NHS shopping hour. And huge queues were seen at the Lidl at Balby in Doncaster, South Yorks.

Bosses pleaded for an end to panic-buying. Tesco boss Dave Lewis urged shoppers to ask themselves: “Do I need everything in my trolley?” Co-operative boss Steve Murrells said: “People need to remain calm.”

Some 1.5 million people in England with serious health conditions are being told to stay at home for 12 weeks.

The Communities Secretary said local hubs will deliver medicines to the most vulnerable and isolated, and their groceries will be delivered by councils working with supermarkets, paid for by the Government. He said: “Nobody needs to worry about getting essential items.”

Source: Mirror.co.uk

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