Not a bright idea! Beachgoers ignore government quarantine pleas and sit along Brighton’s seafront as ministers are accused of ‘mixed messages’ over coronavirus lockdown rules

  • People were spotted out and about by the sea at Brighton, East Sussex, as police swooped to send them away
  • Ministers have been accused of sending ‘mixed messages’ in attempts to encourage people to alter routines
  • A record-breaking 381 coronavirus deaths and 3,009 cases were declared in the UK – Britain’s darkest day
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

Britons are still not heading government warnings to stay at home to help stop the spread of the deadly coronavirus – despite the lockdown entering its second week.

People were spotted out and about on the seafront at Brighton, East Sussex, today as police swooped to send them on their way.

Ministers have been accused of sending ‘mixed messages’ in attempts to encourage the public to alter their routines in the face of the devastating pandemic.

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People were spotted out and about on the seafront at Brighton, East Sussex, today as police swooped to send them on their way

Two people, with one covering his face with a mask, were seen walking along the bustling promenade in the seaside resort


One man, who was wearing a surgical glove on his right hand but not his left, sat on a concrete block while pigeons swarmed around him (left). And a policeman scolds on woman on the beach (right)

Two women had to be scolded by an officer for sitting on the south coast city’s pebbled beach to watch the waves draw in

A record-breaking 381 coronavirus deaths and 3,009 cases were declared in the UK on Tuesday, which is Britain’s darkest day so far.

Yet two women had to be scolded by an officer for sitting on the south coast city’s pebbled beach to watch the waves draw in.

A family, who were all covering their faces with masks, was seen holding hands and walking along the bustling promenade.

One man, who was wearing a surgical glove on his right hand but not his left, sat on a concrete block while pigeons swarmed around him.

And a couple drinking energy drinks on a bench appeared to laugh at a policeman as he told them off in front of Brighton Pier.

Other officers could be seen pleading with beachgoers to go home as they patrolled the seafront on Tuesday afternoon.

A family of six, who were all covering their faces with masks, was seen holding hands and walking along the bustling promenade

A couple drinking energy drinks on a bench appeared to laugh at a policeman as he told them off in front of Brighton Pier

Liberal Democrats home affairs spokesman Christine Jardine called for the Government to clarify its message to the public.

Ms Jardine said: ‘With police taking wildly different approaches to enforcing social distancing measures and ministers’ off-the-cuff remarks adding to the confusion, it’s no wonder people are uncertain about what the Government expects of them during this crisis.

‘The vast majority are keen to comply with advice and will do whatever it takes to keep themselves and others safe by curbing the spread of the virus.

‘However, the Government must make every effort to be absolutely clear about what the expectations are and why they are necessary.

‘Mixed messages from ministers only add to the chaos and fuel anxiety.’

An officer is seen confronting a person on the pebbled beach as a dog walker strolls past by the sea in the background on Tuesday

One man gets a dressing down from a policeman (pictured) for being out and about when a quarantine is in place across the country

Police officers patrolled along the beachfront, checking what reasons people had to be out of their homes

The comments came after Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said people should only go out to shop for food ‘once a week’ if possible.

Mr Shapps told the BBC: ‘People know the rules that have been set. Try and shop just once a week – just, you know, just do the essentials not everything else.’

But Government guidance states people should shop for essentials ‘as infrequently as possible’, it does not limit the amount of times a person can shop.

Cabinet minister Michael Gove has also told people to limit jogging to 30 minutes.

He said: ‘I would have thought that for most people, a walk of up to an hour, or a run of 30 minutes or a cycle ride of between that, depending on their level of fitness is appropriate.’

Medical staff are pictured wheeling a patient out of an ambulance at St Thomas’ Hospital in London on Tuesday. The capital city, home to around nine million people, is at the centre of the UK’s crisis

Mr Gove said most people were already displaying ‘common sense’ when it came to following social distancing guidelines.

Government guidelines say that ‘one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household’ is allowed in the current situation.

The comments come after some police forces have been accused of heavy-handed tactics in enforcing the lockdown restrictions imposed by the Government.

At the beginning of March, Prime Minister Boris Johnson insisted he would shake people’s hands.

The PM is currently self-isolating after testing positive for coronavirus with ‘mild symptoms’.

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