Public sunbathing is not allowed in lockdown, the Health Secretary has said after people were pictured flouting coronavirus rules.

The UK’s second weekend in lockdown is predicted to be the warmest in six months.

Matt Hancock told Sophy Ridge On Sunday: “Sunbathing is against the rules that have been set out for important public health reasons.”

He warned rulebreakers: “You are putting others’ lives at risk and you are putting yourself in harm’s way.”

One London park has been forced to close today after thousands of people ignored “stay-at-home” guidance and enjoyed the sunshine or met friends.

Brockwell Park in Lambeth locked its gates indefinitely after 3,000 people visited on Saturday, “many of them sunbathing or in large groups”.

The council called the rulebreakers “unacceptable” and apologised for the closure, adding: “A minority of people have not followed the guidance – regrettably we have to act.”

There were similar scenes on Primrose Hill in Camden, where police moved on more than 100 people who were picnicking or had met with friends.

Rulebreakers were also spotted on the south coast, and two people will now face the courts after a having a barbecue on a beach in Hove.

Sussex Police tweeted that they were “disappointed” in those caught, but said: “Thank you to everyone that stayed away from beauty spots and beaches today.

“We know it isn’t easy.”

Mr Hancock also warned outdoor exercise could be banned if people flout the social distancing rules.
He told the BBC: “We’ve said it’s OK to go for exercise because both the physical and mental health benefits of getting some exercise are really important.

“I don’t want to have to take away exercise as a reason to leave home… if too many people are not following the rules.

“At the moment the vast majority of people are (following the guidance) but people should not break the rules because that will mean that the virus spreads more and then we might have to take further action.”

He also confirmed that Boris Johnson continues to have a high temperature but is “OK” and in “good spirits” as he remains in self-isolation in Downing Street.

His warning came ahead of the Queen’s address to the nation, in which she will urge the country to prove that this generation is “as strong as any”.

In a televised message to be broadcast on Sunday evening, the head of state will recognise the pain felt by many families living through this “time of disruption”.

She will personally thank frontline NHS staff, care workers and others carrying out essential roles for their efforts, in what is expected to be a deeply personal message reflecting her experience in other difficult times.


– The UK death toll from the virus rose by at least 708 – bringing the number of coronavirus-related hospital deaths to 4,313 as of 5pm on Friday. A five-year-old child was among the victims.

– Professor Stephen Powis, NHS England’s national medical director, warned that while new cases of coronavirus appear to have stabilised, now is not the time to “take our foot off the pedal”.

– John Alagos, a 23-year-old NHS nurse, died after treating patients with coronavirus, his mother told the Mail on Sunday.

– Carrie Symonds, Mr Johnson’s pregnant fiancee, said she had spent the last week in bed suffering coronavirus symptoms, but was “on the mend”.

– The chairman of the Doctors’ Association, Rinesh Parmar, told the Sun on Sunday he feared more than 50 doctors could die “if the PPE (personal protective equipment) dries up and we have no choice but to treat our patients without the right equipment”.
– The Ministry of Justice said hundreds of risk-assessed prisoners within two months of their release date are to be temporarily sent home to reduce the chance of coronavirus taking hold in jails and overwhelming the NHS.
– Newly elected Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer accused the Government of making “serious mistakes” in its response to the coronavirus crisis, but pledged to engage “constructively” with ministers.