Despite repeated warnings and pleas from the Government for the British public to avoid public areas, holidaymakers have flocked to the seaside this weekend, using the social distancing period as an excuse for a trip to the seaside.
Just Friday (March 20), Boris Johnson urged all bars and restaurants to close their doors to help keep the public safe during the pandemic, however that hasn’t stopped ignorant Brits “enjoy” their newfound free time by heading off to some of Yorkshire’s tourist hotspots.
Authorities in both the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District have urged people to stay home, saying “now is not the time for tourism”, while National Parks have been completely closed while the pandemic reaches its peak in the UK – as people continue to put each other at risk by ignoring the Government’s advice. As a result, the Prime Minister has not ruled out a complete lockdown across the country if people continue to ignore the new regulations.
David Butterworth, Chief Exec of the Yorkshire Dales has said of the issue:
“The number of people coming to the area and acting so irresponsibly at a time of national crisis cannot be acceptable,”
Continuing: “If people chose to come here and ignore government advice regarding social distancing, then I would suggest they do not travel to the Yorkshire Dales at all and stay at home” , before suggesting authorities close down car parks to put visitors off.
Meanwhile, on the Yorkshire Coast, former Mayor of Scarborough Joe Plant said on social media “I have had many messages from local residents to get this sorted as Whitby is like a Bank holiday. People need to wake up and face the reality. This is serious very very serious. You are not only putting yourselves and family at risk you are putting others at risk. Locals are doing the best they can and others that are coming in to the towns treating it like a holiday are causing a major concern to all locals. For goodness sake stay home and save lives.”
Bridlington, Filey, Scarborough and Whitby have been described as busy as a bank holiday weekend, with Humberside Police even confirming they had received reports from the public that businesses which were ordered to close have remained open, just a couple of days after Boris Johnson permitted new laws for the police to make arrests against anyone not following Coronavirus regulations. Lincolnshire areas such as Skegness have also been reported as extremely busy, with cafes reported to be open and residents describing it as like “Piccadilly Circus”.
Over 5000 people in the UK have now been confirmed to be infected with COVID-19, with 233 related deaths reported as of 9am March 21.