Britons head to beauty spots to soak up weather ahead of downpours

Edging closer to freedom: Britons head to beauty spots to soak up fine weather ahead of downpours next week on last day before they can meet a friend for coffee in the park and schools return as lockdown eases

  • Crowds flocked outdoors across UK to enjoy outbreaks of sunshine before the weather turns next week
  • Met Office warned temperatures will plummet below freezing this evening with downpours in coming days
  • The outings come on the eve of the first step toward normality as lockdown restrictions begin to ease 

Britons headed to beauty spots to soak up the fine weather ahead of downpours next week on the last day before they can meet a friend for coffee in the park and schools return as lockdown eases.

Crowds flocked to outdoor spaces across the UK to enjoy the outbreaks of sunshine amid warnings that temperatures will plummet below freezing this evening.

The outings come on the eve of the first step toward normality as lockdown restrictions begin to ease.

Meeting a friend for a coffee on a park bench as well as outdoor picnics will be the first activities given the go ahead from tomorrow. 

School are also set to re-open with ministers asking pupils to take two quick-result tests per week in order to weed out asymptomatic carriers of Covid-19.

Downing Street said nearly 57 million lateral flow test kits, which can produce results in less than 30 minutes, have already been delivered to schools and colleges as part of the rollout.

Britons headed to beauty spots to soak up the fine weather ahead of downpours next week on the last day before they can meet a friend for coffee in the park and schools return as lockdown eases. Pictured: Families in Brighton earlier today

Crowds flocked to outdoor spaces across the UK to enjoy the outbreaks of sunshine amid warnings that temperatures will plummet below freezing this evening. Pictured: Visitors enjoying the sunshine as they walk on the beach at Durdle Door at Lulworth in Dorset

The UK is facing freezing temperatures well below zero as Met Office forecasters predict blustering gales and showers as the week goes on.

It said: ‘As we head through this evening, much of the cloud should tend to thin and break across England and Wales and that will allow another frost to develop with the temperature dropping several degrees below freezing particularly across Wales and the south-west…

‘Into Monday, it is a bright start across some southern areas albeit very cold with the frost but thicker cloud further north will bring further outbreaks of rain particularly for western and southern Scotland, parts of Northern Ireland and parts of the north of England.

‘It won’t be as cold tomorrow.’

The outings come on the eve of the first step toward normality as lockdown restrictions begin to ease. Pictured: Members of the public relax in Hyde Park, London

Meeting a friend for a coffee on a park bench as well as outdoor picnics will be the first activities given the go ahead from tomorrow. Pictured: People on Primrose Hill in London earlier today

So-called wrap-around childcare will also be allowed to resume, paving the way for after and before school clubs to reopen from tomorrow. Pictured: Two women take advantage of the sunny weather to take their children to the beach earlier today

The Met Office continued: ‘The outlook, staying dry at first on Tuesday but turning very unsettled and becoming very windy through the middle part of the week.’

It comes as Britain prepares for its first step toward normality with lockdown restrictions easing from tomorrow.

People in England will be allowed to drink coffee on a park bench or have a picnic with anyone from their own household or with another person on a one-to-one basis.

But households will still not be allowed to mix inside or outside with anyone else.

The Government’s stay at home order will remain in place, with travel for non-essential purposes still banned, but care home residents will be able to have one regular named visitor.

It comes as Britain prepares for its first step toward normality with lockdown restrictions easing from tomorrow. Pictured: Queuing for coffee on the seafront as the warm weather brings people to the beach in Brighton earlier today

Meanwhile, all pupils and students will return to schools and colleges across England. Pictured: Woman sits on the beach with two children and their brightly coloured bicycles

Meanwhile, all pupils and students will return to schools and colleges across England.

So-called wrap-around childcare will also be allowed to resume, paving the way for after and before school clubs to reopen.

Earlier today Gavin Wiliamson denied pupils face chaos over mask and testing rules tomorrow as they finally get back to classrooms.

The Education Secretary insisted schools in England have been given clear guidance with the first phase of lockdown easing set to happen.

Pictured: Surfer rides a wave at Gwithian Towans Beach earlier today amid warnings that temperatures will plummet below freezing this evening

Members of the public relax in Hyde Park central London on the last day of full lockdown ahead of restrictions easing tomorrow which will allow meeting a friend for a coffee on a park bench as well as outdoor picnics

In interviews this morning, Mr Williamson said parents and children are ‘excited’ about getting back to face-to-face lessons.

He defended the rules around wearing masks insisting that in secondaries students ‘recognise the importance of doing whatever they can do’.

Challenged that teachers in primaries have merely been told to wear masks ‘where possible’, he told Sky News: ‘We set out very clear guidance about how teachers will be best able to approach this. Wearing a face mask is just one small element.’

Mr Williamson also insisted testing would play a key role – despite concerns about the logistics involved and the number of families that will be ordered to isolate due to ‘false positives’.

How will lockdown ease in the roadmap?  

Step One Part One: March 8

From March 8, all pupils and students will return to schools and colleges across England.

So-called wrap-around childcare will also be allowed to resume, paving the way for after and before school clubs to reopen.

People will be allowed to meet one other person outside for recreation, for example, to have a picnic or to meet for coffee.

Care home residents will be able to have one regular named visitor.

The Government’s stay at home order will remain in place, with travel for non-essential purposes still banned.

Step One Part Two: March 29

From March 29, outdoor gatherings of up to six people or a larger group from up to two households will be allowed. These gatherings will be allowed to happen in private gardens.

Outdoor sports like tennis and basketball will be allowed to reopen and people will also be able to take part in formally organised outdoor sports.

It is at this point that the Government’s stay at home guidance will end, to be replaced by ministers encouraging people to ‘stay local’.

However, the Government is expected not to define what constitutes local, instead choosing to rely on people using their common sense to decide on journeys.

People will still be told to work from home wherever possible while international travel will still be banned unless it is for essential purposes.

Step Two: April 12

Nom-essential retail will be allowed to reopen as well as personal care premises like hairdressers, barbers and nail salons.

Public buildings like libraries, museums and art galleries will be allowed to welcome back customers.

Meanwhile, hospitality venues and outdoor attractions like theme parks will be given the green light to reopen in some form.

However, there will still be rules on household mixing: Essentially any activity which involves being indoors will be restricted to members of the same household.

Gyms and swimming pools will also reopen from April 12 but only on the basis that people go on their own or with their own household.

Pubs and restaurants will be able to reopen but at this point they will only be able to have customers outdoors.

Any visits to a pub or restuarant will have to comply with the rules on social contact, so no more than two households or the rule of six.

The Government will not be bringing back the old requirement for people to order a substantial meal with alcohol while the old 10pm curfew will be ditched.

All customers at hospitality venues will also have to be seated when they order food or drink, with ordering at the bar prohibited.

Campsites and holiday lets where indoor facilities are not shared with other households can also reopen but trips must be restricted a single household.

Funerals will be allowed to continue with up to 30 people, while the rules on wedding receptions will be eased to allow the number of guests to increase from six to 15.

Step Three: May 17

The two household and rule of six requirements for outdoor gatherings will be ditched but gatherings of more than 30 people in places like parks will still be banned.

Crucially, mixing indoors will be allowed again. The rule of six or a larger group from up to two households will be allowed to meet.

However, this will be kept under review by ministers to see if rules could be relaxed still further.

This is also the point at which pubs and restaurants and other hospitality venues will be able to open indoors, with the rule of six and two household limit in place. But groups meeting outdoors at pubs will be allowed to be bigger.

Entertainment venues like cinemas and children’s play areas will be able to reopen, as will hotels and B&Bs. Indoor adult sports groups and exercise classes can also reopen.

Changes will also be made to sporting and performance events in indoor venues with a capacity of 1,000 people or half full

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