The news comes as thousands flocked to parks this weekend to sunbathe.
Following the news that thousands of Brits have continued to flout the UK lockdown rules, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has confirmed that outdoor exercise may be banned if the regulations continue to be ignored.
Temperatures reached 20 degrees in parts of the country this weekend, which as a result saw thousands head to local green spaces, beaches and beauty spots – with Greater Manchester Police continuing to receive reports of BBQs and social gatherings across Manchester.
Tempted to take a BBQ to a public place this weekend? To those of you are following the advice, this may sound ridiculous. But we have received reports of this throughout the week. Please stay home, and don’t add any increased risks for the emergency services. #StayHomeSaveLives pic.twitter.com/61f3OmdmRv
— GMP Manchester City Centre (@GMPCityCentre) April 4, 2020
Speaking on the Andrew Marr show this morning (April 5), Matt Hancock said: “I understand how difficult these measures are, of course I do. But the truth is the more people go out from home, the more the virus spreads.
“We’ve said because of the positive benefits to your physical and your mental health that it’s okay to exercise on your own or with members of your own household.
“But if the result of that is that too many people go out and flout the other rules because they say ‘well if I can exercise, then it’s fine for me to do other things’, then I’m afraid we will have to take action.”
Continuing: “My message is really clear, if you don’t want us to have to take the step to ban exercise of all forms outside of your own home then you’ve got to follow the rules.”
Speaking further on the issue, the Health Secretary also spoke to Sky News this morning, confirming to the public that sunbathing was banned during the lockdown and ‘backed up’ by the law, saying:
“Sunbathing is against the rules that have been set out for important public health reasons,”
Adding: “And, I wish I didn’t have to say this, but I do because the whole country wants to come through this crisis, the whole country wants to come through this as quickly as possible.
“And the fastest way to come through the crisis, and to save lives, and to protect the NHS, to reduce the pressure on the NHS, the fastest way to do that is to follow the guidance and to stay at home unless you’ve got one of the four reasons we set out.”
This isn’t the first time Brits have flouted the rules, with the National Trust closing their parks just two weeks ago to discourage the public, and Manchester City Council and GMP forced to discuss whether or not to close Piccadilly Gardens as social gatherings continued just days into the lockdown.