BRITAIN is to be hit by an unseasonal Spring heatwave – just as millions go into coronavirus lockdown.
Forecasters say a 500 mile-wide 'Portuguese pulse' of warm air will blow in balmy 15C (59F) highs across the UK for up to 10 days.
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The news mean Britain is poised to be warmer than Malta and Corfu, Greece, both due to be 14C by midweek.
Bookmakers Ladbrokes has now cut odds on spring being the hottest ever from 6/1 to just 5/2.
Spokesman Alex Apati said: “The sun is up but the odds are down. Punters are backing a hot spring.”
A weather map shows air blowing from Portugal to Britain, with highs climbing to 15C – 4C above average – by Wednesday.
Forecasters reveal 20C highs are also on the way within weeks.
The Met Office predicts mostly dry conditions for 10 days – meaning the isolated can at least enjoy some quality garden time.
WHO WILL BE TOLD TO STAY HOME?
People with serious conditions, including cancer and respiratory diseases, and transplant patients should get a letter in the next 24 hours.
Government officials have said this includes: respiratory diseases, including asthma, chronia heart disease, liver disease, or any neurological disease, diabetes, or a weakened immune system.
Brits who are having chemotherapy or who have recently had it will also be at risk.
People who are pregnant should also take greater care and stay at home.
Of those affected, 40 per cent are over the age of 75. All those over 70 had already been told to expect to socially distance themselves for 12 weeks.
The Weather Outlook forecaster Brian Gaze said: “Sunshine will help boost the mood, with an extended period of settled and dry conditions after recent months' widespread flooding.”
Ex-BBC and Met Office forecaster John Hammond of weathertrending said: “We will tap into air from further south in Europe through the early part of the week, with daytime temperatures rising after the weekend.
“Drier continental winds are now blowing across the UK. The ‘taps’ have been turned off after wet and windy westerlies plagued us through winter.”
STV weather presenter Sean Batty said: “Stay positive, British Summer Time is on the way with lighter nights and 20C is more achievable in weeks ahead.”
A Met Office forecaster said: “It looks fine and dry for many from Sunday as winds ease in the South.
“Dry and settled conditions should dominate through the end of March and into early April, bringing plenty of sunny spells across the UK, particularly in the South and East."
Earlier it was revealed letters have been sent to around 1.5m of Britain's most vulnerableby the government – telling them to stay at home to save their lives.
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick confirmed this morning thousands at risk of not recovering from coronavirus have officially been told to stay in for 12 weeks.
It comes as 5,018 people are now infected in the UK, with 233 deaths reported yesterday.
Around 1.5 million personally addressed letters have been sent out to those judged most likely to die from the killer virus, The Times reports.
They have been warned they should cut themselves off to protect themselves from the deadly bug.
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The letters tell those at risk to avoid anyone, including people in their own home, with symptoms.
They mustn't go out for shopping, leisure or travel and supplies need to be left at their front doors for their own protection.
Today a Tory minister refused to rule out tougher coronavirus lockdown measures and warned Brits “this is not a game”.
Robert Jenrick said the government will explore “other options” if health advice is continually ignored by the public.
The warning from the Communities Secretary came after reports of crowds flocking to seaside resorts this weekend.
While this morning Boris Johnson wrote to Brits urging them to stay at home on Mother’s Day and added that we need “to act together” to avoid the same fate as Italy.
Mr Jenrick told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge: “We want to live in a free society where we can continue to go about activities whilst following the medical advice.
“But this isn’t a game, it is very serious
“People need to follow that advice. If people don’t follow that advice then clearly we’ll have to consider other options, but none of us want to go down that route.”
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