With the weather set to be warm, this weekend will be a test. But we must stay indoors
The UK’s second weekend in lockdown is set to be the warmest of the year so far, with temperatures expected to reach 15 degrees in Brighton and Hove on Sunday.
Last week, the government introduced stricter social distancing measures to help combat the coronavirus crisis, partly as a result of people failing to follow the initial, more lenient guidelines. The weekend after the first social distancing measures were introduced, thousands flocked to national parks and beauty spots, wrongly thinking that they weren’t at serious risk of spreading or contracting the infection while outside.
Now, as the population begins to adjust to lockdown, Prime Minister Boris Johnson took to Twitter plead with the British public to “please, please stick with the guidance now” ahead of this weekend’s fine weather:
I reckon a lot of people will be starting to think that this is all going on for quite a long time and would rather be getting out there, particularly if you’ve got kids in the household, everybody may be getting a bit stir crazy, and there may be a temptation to get out there, hang out and start to break the regulations. I just urge you not to do that.
This country has made a huge effort, a huge sacrifice, done absolutely brilliantly well in delaying the spread of the virus. Let’s stick with it now – remember that incredible clapping again last night for our fantastic NHS. We’re doing it to protect them and to save lives.
Re-iterating her message to non-Brighton residents not to travel to the city for the weekend, Brighton and Hove Council Leader, Nancy Platts, said:
With the weekend upon us, and sunshine and warmer weather in prospect, it’s tempting to want to get outside to let off steam and relax – but it’s crucial we protect the NHS, protect our residents and don’t let our guard slip.
Reminding Brighton residents that government guidelines only permit you to go outside for one exercise a day or to shop for essentials, she added:
We are keeping the seafront and our parks open (although playgrounds are shut) so that people who live nearby can exercise close to home, once a day, in line with the government’s guidelines. If the area you are trying to exercise in is busy, please try to find an alternative spot nearby.
More than 50 banners have gone up along the seafront from the Marina to Hove Lagoon, reminding people of the importance of social distancing and staying two metres apart.
Recent evidence from a study conducted by scientists at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine suggested that lockdown measures could already be slowing the spread of the virus. Researchers say each infected patient may now only be passing COVID-19 on to 0.62 others on average, down from 2.6 each before people were forced to stay at home.
This weekend is going to be a challenge for all of us, but it is crucially important that we continue to play our part. Enjoy your one walk or run, enjoy sitting in the garden or a sunny window, but otherwise stay home, save lives.