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Saturday, Jan 16, 2021

Drinkers pack into pubs and clubs after a day on beaches

Drinkers pack into pubs and clubs after a day on beaches

Revellers were seen enjoying a drink after thousands crowded on beaches and gathered in parks with friends to soak up temperatures of 95F (35C).

Drinkers pack into pubs with little social distancing despite threat to shut them down after warning that crowded bars are more dangerous than planes

* After a boiling day, people flocked to bars, beer gardens and clubs as they ignored social distancing
* The drinking comes as experts warn that gathering in pubs has more risk of spreading Covid-19 than planes
* Top temperature was 34.5C in Frittenden (Kent), Wiggonholt (West Sussex), and Herstmonceux (East Sussex)
* Drinkers flouted rules despite threats that pubs could be closed again and after it was revealed half of new coronavirus cases in newly-locked downed Preston are people under 30, with some linked to pubs in the city

Britons flocked to pubs and bars this evening after yet another day of scorching weather - defying social distancing measures as they packed into bars after a day spent in the sunshine.

Revellers were seen enjoying a drink after thousands crowded on beaches and gathered in parks with friends to soak up temperatures of 95F (35C).

Drinkers flouted social distancing rules as they took to the towns on what is the hottest weekend of the year so far, despite the threat that pubs could be shut down, and experts warning crowded bars are more dangerous than planes.

It was also revealed that half of new coronavirus cases in the newly-locked down city of Preston are under the age of 30, suggesting that the spike in cases in the city is in-part down to young people returning to the bars.

Desperate police today turned an influx of staycationers away because of Friday's 'bedlam' - as soaring mercury left officials worried about what tomorrow could bring.

Swarms of party goers were seen without face masks and defying social distancing measures as they queued outside a party hotspots.

Saturday's top temperature was 34.5C at Frittenden in Kent, Wiggonholt in West Sussex, and Herstmonceux in East Sussex, the Met Office said.

Revellers make their way for another night of boozing on what is the hottest weekend of the year

Three women holding their phones and bags made their way to a 21st birthday celebration

A group of drinkers - clearly defying social distancing rules - gathered together to enjoy this evening's cooler temperatures

In Preston, council chiefs have launched a powerful 'don't kill granny' message to encourage youngsters to follow the rules after it was revealed half of new coronavirus cases in the newly-locked down city are under the age of 30.

Fears are growing that 'bold' young people are ignoring social distancing and mixing in big crowds, putting them at risk of contracting the virus.

Many of those who do get infected may be asymptomatic and might not even realise they are then passing it on to loved ones when returning home.

Dr Julian W Tang, honorary associate professor of respiratory sciences at the University of Leicester, said the most common method of transmission in the UK is probably 'conversational exposure'.

He said being in a busy pub is worse than being on an aeroplane because planes have better ventilation.

Swarms of party goers were seen without face masks as they queued outside a nightclub in Blackpool

The 'perfect storm' for spreading coronavirus in pubs is created by the potential build-up of infected droplets caused by poor ventilation, people having continuous conversations, often speaking more loudly to be heard over the din of a noisy bar.

Dr Tang said: 'If the air space is poorly ventilated, that air that's full of virus is not going to go anywhere.

'It's going to linger there until the virus dries up and dies over time. ' he told the PA news agency, adding that the most common method of transmission in the UK is probably 'conversational exposure'.

He pointed out that when people laugh they produce a lot of air, so if someone in a group in the pub makes a joke then they are massively exposed to exhaled air from the laughter around them.

The professor said you know if you are too close to someone if you can smell garlic on someone's breath because it means you are close enough to be inhaling their air.

Dr Tang thinks people do not realise how safe planes actually are because of their good ventilation.

He said: 'To be honest, on a plane the danger is from your nearest neighbours because that air is not filtered away quickly enough before you inhale it. That's the main risk on a plane.

'I don't see planes as a major risk. If you ask me would I rather fly on a plane or go to a pub, I'd rather fly on a plane.'

Meanwhile, pubs have been warned to enforce the track and trace system or face another lockdown, and a Sunday People investigation found over half of 20 pubs visited were not encouraging customers to use track and trace.

Crowds of people defied social distancing on what is the hottest weekend of the year this evening

Tonight's antics come as experts warn that people drinking together in pubs carry more risk of spreading the coronavirus than planes

The Saturday heat brought with it an influx of water-related tragedies as a man in his 20s drowned in a water-filled quarry, a six-year-old boy almost died after his inflatable swan was swept out to sea and men were pictured jumping into the sea at Durdle Door - an activity that critically injured two men in May.

In North Wales, described as being a scene of 'bedlam' yesterday, a councillor's plea for visitors to avoid towns was ignored as the local police force reported a 'considerable build up' of traffic in Abersoch while drivers made their way to the beach.

Later in the day a man in his 20s drowned in a water-filled quarry at Bawsey Pits near King's Lynn, Norfolk, after 'getting into trouble in the water'.

Emergency services were called to the scene at about 11.30am on Saturday after the man was reported missing.

Elsewhere, a hero builder rushed to save the life of a six-year-old boy who was found face down and unconscious in the water after he was swept out to sea on an inflatable swan at Black Rock Sands in North Wales.

The capital basked in sunshine on Friday. In Heathrow and Kew Gardens the hottest August day since 2003 was recorded as temperatures reached 97.5F (36.4C)

Temperatures will remain high into the 30s across the south of England on Saturday with more sunshine on Sunday before clouds roll in on Monday with the potential for storms later in the week

Brighton beach was once again packed with sunseekers today as the heatwave that has been sweeping the UK continued

Sand could barely be seen at Bournemouth beach as thousand once again flocked to the seafront to soak up the sun

An information display shows how much litter was left on a 100-metre section of Southend beach in Essex in just one day

LGA calls for councils to be given more powers to shut down pubs not following the rules

Licensing laws currently do not allow councils to take action on public health grounds, such as where Covid-19 guidelines are not being followed, instead relying on general health and safety legislation, which is less specific and makes it harder to intervene.

The LGA, which represents councils in England and Wales, wants to see the introduction of a temporary public health or Covid-19 objective, allowing town halls to take action where premises are not protecting the public during the pandemic – such as collecting people's contact details or maintaining social distancing.

Current government guidance says pubs are only asked to voluntarily roll out such rules, but the LGA insists it should be made mandatory and legally enforceable.

It says most are working hard to comply with the guidance but councils have concerns that some pubs are not collecting contact details of customers so they can be reached in the event of a local outbreak.

Crowds flocked to the seafront despite pleas from local authorities to stay away, after an immensely busy day yesterday

There was very little space on Margate beach on Saturday afternoon after families and sunseekers flocked to the sea

Brighton beach was packed with sunseekers this morning as revellers once again took to the sea in their droves

Local authorities have recently been given powers to close premises, but these can only be used where there is already a serious and imminent risk to public health.

The LGA says extending licensing powers would mean they can act quickly and proactively in cracking down on places that flout the guidance, to prevent problems in the first place instead of only being able to act when it is too late.

It says the sanctions available under the Licensing Act – such as requiring a business to apply new conditions to operate safely, or in the worst cases revoking a licence – would be better suited to preventing the risk of infection spreading than the tools available under health and safety laws.

Much like yesterday, crowds appeared unbothered by fears of coronavirus as groups mixed without masks - despite rising cases in the UK driving fears of a second wave.

The chaos comes amid a plea for 'bold' young people to continue following social distancing rules as fears grow that they are catching the virus without knowing and passing it on to other members of their household.

Meanwhile, the Local Government Association is calling for councils to be given more powers to shut down rule-breaking pubs nationwide, with revellers expected to pack into venues up and down the country once again later today.

Pigeons land on Brighton beach where bags of rubbish was dumped yesterday after another busy day on the seafront

Southend beach in Essex was packed with visitors trying to cool down from the heat today by having a splash around in the sea

Holidaymakers and sunbathers once again flocked to the beach at the seaside resort of Lyme Regis in Dorset today

People enjoy the hot weather on a packed Bournemouth beach in Dorset at about 3pm this afternoon

People enjoy the hot weather on the banks of the River Lea in east London, where the mercury has hit the highest since 2003

People walk along the beach front on Boscombe beach in Dorset. Very few people were wearing masks as they walked closely together - despite cases of coronavirus rising in the UK

A RNLI Lifeguard patrols Boscombe beach in Dorset as the heatwave sweeping the UK brings another busy day

The beach at Southend in Essex was packed out as desperate sunseekers defied social distancing to fill every spot of sand

Dylan Bullard, a councillor from Pwllheli, North Wales, told the Telegraph the town was a scene of 'bedlam' yesterday.

He added: 'If you're thinking of coming into town, please consider leaving it to later. The car parks are full and cars are parked illegally. Social distancing is impossible at the moment, and people are queuing to get into shops.'

The Met Office said temperatures had already reached 95F at Frittenden in Kent early this afternoon, with a chance the mercury could rise as high as 97F in the South East later in the day.

People enjoy the hot weather at Bournemouth beach in Dorset. Hundreds of sunseekers took to their cars to head down for a day at the beach

People enjoy the hot weather at Boscombe beach in Dorset. Gazebos and a large tent were set up to shade beach-goers from the intense afternoon sun

Sunseekers play volleyball on Boscome beach in Dorset today as crowds once again flocked down to the coast in huge numbers

HM Coastguard warned people to stay safe on the beach after rescue teams responded to 70 callouts across the UK by midday today - 'above average for this time of year', one week after its busiest day for more than four years.

The very hot conditions, which have been caused by air warming up over France before being drawn north, have led to health warnings.

Britain has never recorded two days with temperatures over 99F (37C) in the same year since records began.


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