Brits flock to seaside on first Saturday since lockdown was eased forcing beauty spot car parks to close – The Sun


CAR parks at beauty spots were forced to close as thousands of Brits flocked to the seaside today following the easing of lockdown restrictions.

Changes in the Covid-19 regulations since Wednesday mean people in England can now drive to outdoor open spaces irrespective of distance – so long as they do not travel into Wales or Scotland.

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Brits soak up the sun on Brighton Beach today after lockdown measures were eased

Pictures show visitors piling onto Dorset's famous Durdle Door beach to sunbathe in the balmy heat, leading to full car parks.

A number of car parks in Dartmoor, Devon were also forced to close after becoming too crowded, local authorities confirmed.

An email sent out by the Dartmoor ranger team revealed the news, explaining that it was making social distancing impossible.

The email read: "As of 13:30 today car parks in the Haytor, Postbridge and Newbridge area are now too busy for social distancing to be observed.

Please can potential visitors to Dartmoor avoid these areas."

People headed to Brighton Beach and Whitley Bay, while others enjoyed a game of tennis for the first time in two months.

Police were also seen carrying out spot checks on those flocking to Brighton.

As thousands rushed to the coast, police carried out a number of road safety checks in the Brighton area.

A spokesman for Sussex Police told Sun Online: "With an increase in vehicles on our county's roads, it is paramount we ensure the safety of all road users, as well as remaining committed to preventing criminals the use of our roads.

"The Road Traffic Act 1988 provides police with the power to stop vehicles for any reason."

The easing of the Covid-19 lockdown in England means people can drive as far as they want to exercise outdoors, as long as they do not spend the night away from their home.

Several tourist boards had urged people to stay away due to fears they will be overwhelmed by visitors.

But while 15 million Brits were predicted to descend on beauty spots, traffic increased just 3% on last Saturday as many chose to remain at home.


However scores of people travelled to popular spots despite being asked to "think carefully" before visiting national parks and beaches.

The Peak District National Park said the Langsett area at the north-eastern edge of the park was "extremely busy" on Saturday morning, making social distancing difficult.

A number of Dartmoor car parks were also closed today as they became too crowded.

The Yorkshire Dales introduced a traffic light system to let visitors know how busy its car parks are in 10 different locations.

By Saturday afternoon, its Malham car park, which has 140 spaces, was marked red to indicate it was full, while other locations were marked amber to show they were filling up fast.

James Mason, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: "Many of these places have ageing populations who need protecting.

"If you're travelling more than 10-15 miles is it really necessary? We'd say 'Dream about it, explore later'".

Julian German, the leader of Cornwall council, added: "We have been really clear alongside government that people shouldn't be coming to Cornwall on holiday and that it's totally inappropriate.

"The minor changes in policy that happened this week don't change that and we're not open for tourism."

Yesterday Airbnb extended its restrictions on bookings until the end of this month.

In some areas, locals councils have told outsiders they are not welcome and there were fears people arriving in large numbers could result in vigilante attacks.

Cleveland Police put out a warning to the public after a number of nail traps were found hidden in Guisborough Woods, a popular spot for walkers.

Similar traps made of drawing pins were found on paths near Bournemouth in Dorset yesterday.

Martin Hewitt, chairman of the National Police Chiefs' Council, issued a plea asking them to consider whether it was really worthwhile.

He said: "All I would ask is that anybody who is planning to travel to a beauty spot, be respectful to the communities while you are there.

"Be respectful for the environment while you are there and obviously think about whether you want to go to places that are going to be very, very busy because that will inevitably make social distancing more challenging for you."

He added: "Think about what travel and what activities you are going to undertake outside and try still to be sensible about what you do when you are out.

"Maintain the two-metre distance at all times where that is possible and generally put yourself in a place where you can maintain that distance because that is what will stop you being infected or stop you infecting anyone else."



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