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Beaches on England's south coast overwhelmed by visitors during the heatwave
Posted on 26/06/2020

SocietyUnited Kingdom

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The recent heatwave has brought a "deluge" of visitors to Dorset beaches, in particular Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, forcing the government to issue a warning for people who are not respecting social distancing rules. Because of the incident, Matt Hancock, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, has had to say that beaches and other public areas would have to close if the public doesn't respect the rules.

A dangerous behaviour

A dangerous behaviour
© Ianwool / 123RF

Council leader Vikki Slade commented: "We are absolutely appalled at the scenes witnessed on our beaches, particularly at Bournemouth and Sandbanks, in the last 24 to 48 hours.

"The irresponsible behaviour and actions of so many people is just shocking and our services are stretched to the absolute hilt trying to keep everyone safe. We have had no choice now but to declare a major incident and initiate an emergency response."

While hotels, restaurants and bars are preparing for their grand reopening on July 4, the incident is creating a lot of worry, people fearing a second wave of coronavirus.

Sam de Reya from Dorset Police also commented: "These are unprecedented times and we are urging people to stay away from the area of Bournemouth beach and other Dorset beaches. The declaration of a major incident allows us to bring agencies together so we can take actions available to us to safeguard the public as much as possible.

"We are also reliant on people taking personal responsibility and strongly advise members of the public to think twice before heading to the area. Clearly we are still in a public health crisis and such a significant volume of people heading to one area places a further strain on emergency services resources."