The Good Friday clear up begins: Revellers leave piles of litter after drink-fuelled street parties kicked off Easter weekend despite pleas for restraint as nation prepares for cold snap with 50F temperatures
- A large clean up operation took place in Cardiff this morning after revellers left piles of litter after street party
- Comes as the warmer temperatures people have enjoyed this week are set to be replaced with a cold snap
- Heavy snow warnings in place for parts of Scotland but forecasters say nowhere in country will be ‘immune’
Revellers left piles of litter after drink-fuelled street parties kicked off the Easter weekend despite pleas for restraint as the nation prepares for a cold snap with 50F temperatures.
Police were forced to break up crowds in across the country and sent revellers packing after fights broke out when around 40 people gathered for a party on a beach in Devon despite the ongoing rule of six.
In Cardiff, the council were forced to carry a large clean-up operation after hundreds of people gathered outside a government building in Cardiff Bay and left piles of rubbish on the ground behind instead of using the bins.
But people’s hopes for continuing the party or having an al-fresco Easter lunch may be dashed as the cold snap is set to continue over the weekend, with the possibility of snow.
Heavy snow warnings are in place for parts of northern Scotland but forecasters have said nowhere in the country will be ‘immune’ from snowfall by Monday as temperatures continue to drop.
Piles of litter were left on the ground after a party outside the Senedd, home of the Welsh Parliament, in Cardiff Bay, last night as people welcomed the warmer weather
Despite the rule of six restrictions, hundreds of people saw in the beginning of the Easter weekend in Cardiff Bay but left behind plastic bags, cans and bottles (pictured)
Teams of council workers were out in the early hours this morning sweeping up and gathering the litter which was left behind by revellers last night in Cardiff Bay
After partygoers had headed home, Cardiff Council teams were forced to set up a large clean-up operation to remove all the litter, including plastic cups and beer bottles, from the street
Despite the rule of six, hundreds of people gathered outside the Senedd, home of the Welsh Parliament, in Cardiff Bay, last night before the cold snap hits this weekend
The Welsh capital was brimming with people who gathered at Cardiff Bay into the evening but hopes of partying the rest of the weekend may be dashed as the weather turns colder
In Cardiff, the council were forced to carry a large clean-up operation after people left piles of rubbish behind instead of using the bins in the area
Revellers kicked off the Easter weekend with the large gathering outside the Senedd, home of the Welsh Parliament, in Cardiff Bay. Pictured: Police detain a person after the party
Despite the chilly weather, the public have been urged to respect the rules and only meet friends and family outdoors now that restrictions have started to ease.
More than half of British households – 51% – had planned to swap a traditional Easter roast for a barbeque or picnic this year, a survey by Sainsbury’s found.
While Londoners sunned themselves in 76F (24.5C) heat on Tuesday, the temperature in the capital is expected to plummet to freezing on Monday night.
Plans are likely to have to change in Fife, Strathclyde and the Highlands, which are due to see gale-force winds and snow showers as the country enters an ‘Arctic trough’.
By Easter Monday morning, there could be as much as 15cm of snow in higher areas and the Met Office’s yellow warnings are in place from 6pm on Sunday until midnight on Monday.
Craig Snell, forecaster for the Met Office, said: ‘After a taste of summer for a lot of the UK, we will see things turn much colder as we go through the second half of the Easter weekend.
‘A lot of the UK will be prone to seeing some wintry showers as we go through the course of Monday but northern Scotland is where we’ll see the heaviest and most frequent snow.
Revellers appeared to ignore the large amount of rubbish which had been strewn across the floor, despite plastic bin bags being placed around the area in a bid to avoid littering
After the party in Cardiff Bay was cleared away, it revealed huge amounts of rubbish had been left behind by the revellers
A woman poses for a photograph on the steps of the Senedd, home of the Welsh Parliament, at Cardiff Bay this evening
In Cardiff photographs showed crowds cramming close together at Cardiff Bay as the sun started to set this afternoon
‘That’s where there’s most concern that we might see some disruption.’
Mr Snell said although it was not unusual to see snow at this time of year, it would be a “shock to the system” for many, following balmy temperatures felt earlier in the week.
Parts of the UK saw the mercury reach nearly 24C (75.2F) on Wednesday.
On Saturday, temperatures in the South East and London are expected to be about 12C (53.6F) and, further north – Manchester and Leeds – could see highs of 13C (55.4F) and 10C (50F) respectively.
By Monday, London may drop to 8C (46.4F), Manchester 7C (44.6F) and Leeds a chilly 5C (41F).
‘Nowhere is going to be immune from potentially seeing some snow showers on Monday, even down towards the south west of England,’ said Mr Snell. But he said it was unlikely that the snow would settle.
Despite the disappointing weather, Britons still made the most of the Good Friday holiday – flocking to parks and beaches.
Litter covered steps at Cardiff Bay and, as the sun started to set on Friday, hundreds of people ignored social distancing
A group of friends enjoyed drinks as they spent the afternoon together at Cardiff Bay on Friday
As the sun set a party atmosphere descended on Cardiff Bay as hundreds of young people ignored lockdown rules
In Cardiff, a large clean-up operation began in the early hours this morning to clear away all the litter which had been left on the ground.
A Cardiff Council spokesperson said: ‘Once again our teams have been faced with the huge task of cleaning up a significant amount of rubbish left behind by large groups of people intent on breaking COVID-19 restrictions.
‘Last night, bins were left unused and the ground was littered with rubbish. Council staff have been on site since the early hours of the morning, working hard to clear and clean the area.
‘Despite the preventative measures put in place by the council, in partnership with South Wales Police, the Welsh Government’s coronavirus regulations were again broken by a significant number of people illegally gathering in Cardiff Bay.’
Earlier this week First Minister Mark Drakeford said he was ‘shocked’ by the amounts of litter and rubbish left outside the Senedd.
‘I’ve seen the photographs and I’ve seen the accounts on television, and to be honest that is shocking,’ he told BBC Radio Wales.
‘I’ve been a strong supporter of the police’s approach in Wales of inform, educate and persuade, and that is absolutely the right thing to do first.
Police officers gather during a party outside the Senedd, home of the Welsh Parliament, in Cardiff Bay, as people took advantage of the warm bank holiday weather
Officers in Wales were forced to clear people from a party outside the Senedd, home of the Welsh Parliament, in Cardiff Bay, last night
‘Where people deliberately and intentionally set out to do things that can cause a risk to other people, then both local authority and police have powers that they can use.’
Mr Drakeford said he was concerned the progress Wales was making in controlling the spread of coronavirus could be undone by people ignoring the rules.
“I am concerned because when you see those scenes then it does tell us that there is a small minority of people in Wales who still somehow believe that coronavirus doesn’t mean them,” he added.
Footage taken by a walker showed more than 100 people along Plymouth Hoe as crowds ignored social distancing measures and in Cardiff photographs showed crowds cramming close together at Cardiff Bay as the sun started to set this afternoon.
It comes after police stepped up patrols and begged parents to control their children over the four-day break, in the wake of carnage seen across the country this week.
The long weekend follows another hectic few days in which:
- Boris Johnson has faced a backlash over his vaccine passport plan, with MPs vowing to vote against the idea;
- Industry bosses have warned 60% of pubs will not welcome back customers on April 12 as they won’t have enough space;
- A public health expert insists Britain won’t suffer a devastating third wave because so many have been vaccinated and warmer weather is coming;
- A chief constable argued the ‘Stay Local’ advice is too ‘vague’, with police telling people to report rule-breakers;
- Police seized booze and shut parks while Britons left beaches and beauty spots covered in litter;
- The UK regulator found 25 new cases of rare blood clots among British AstraZeneca jab recipients, taking the total to 30 cases;
Footage taken by a walker showed more than 100 people along Plymouth Hoe as crowds ignored social distancing measures
Dozens of groups of young people gathered together at Cardiff Bay to drink in the street despite lockdown
An aerial view as crowds gather during the warm weather on the steps of the Senedd, home of the Welsh Parliament
In Devon, there were reports of fighting as dozens of lockdown rule-breakers ignored social distancing guidelines to meet for a party on Exmouth Beach.
Devon and Cornwall Police said they responded to reports of a mass gathering at the popular tourist spot at 6.30pm.
A police spokesman said there had been reports of fighting involving mainly youths, adding that officers in seven police vehicles including vans raced to the scene and were trying to disperse the groups.
A police spokesman said: ‘We are looking at general disorder as well as potential Covid breaches. There are no suggestions of any injuries at this time, although there are reports of fighting.’
Four groups of at least ten plus people at Orcombe Point on the sandy beach were being broken up by officers.
There have been similar problems involving drunken youths before at the beach.
And footage of a gathering in Plymouth showed dozens of people defying social distancing rules as they walked along a coastal path.
Crowds of people pictured along the seafront at Mumbles, near Swansea, as they enjoy the warm weather on Good Friday
Crowds flock to the seafront in Brighton and Hove to enjoy the sunshine at the start of the four-day Easter weekend
Lockdown restrictions eased for the first time in months on Monday, allowing groups to meet outdoors – but experts fear the loosening of rules may lead to a dangerous spike in Covid cases, with millions expected to use the four-day Easter break to enjoy the first weekend of eased restrictions to meet with family and friends.
Professor Adam Finn tweeted: ‘Throngs of young people crowded together in their hundreds enjoying the beautiful warm evening together by the water. A complete change. If this is happening everywhere then we can confidently expect case numbers to rise next week.’
And Professor Lawrence Young warned the virus was ‘still out there and very infectious’.
Seaside trips allowed but overnight stays are not: Easter’s lockdown rules
WHAT YOU CAN DO
- Travel to parks, beaches or other beauty spots for the day
- Meet in such outdoor areas in a group of up to six people
- Meet another household in an outside garden
- Play sport in outdoor facilities such as tennis and basketball courts or open-air swimming pools
WHAT YOU CAN’T DO
- Meet anyone outside your household or social bubble indoors
- Stay overnight with anyone outside your household or social bubble
- Travel abroad for a holiday
The next stage of restrictions easing is set to begin on April 12, when non-essential retail, personal care premises, hairdressers and nail salons, libraries, gyms, zoos and theme parks can reopen.
Pubs and restaurants will welcome back customers outdoors, with no curfews and no need for a substantial meal, while wider social distancing rules will continue.
One household can also stay at a cottage or holiday let under these looser rules.
He told the Sun Online: ‘While the risk of transmission is low in outdoor spaces, crowding together could result in some spread of the virus and it’s too easy to take liberties which we consider to be low risk but aren’t e.g. close contact by hugging or popping inside to go to somebody else’s toilet.
‘We need to hang on in there with the current restrictions for a bit longer – none of us want another lockdown.’
Police forces across the country including Merseyside, Humberside, Dorset, Sussex and Cheshire yesterday issued stern warnings that officers will be out enforcing lockdown measures, such as the rule of six.
An RAC survey projects 5.6million cars will hit the road this weekend to visit loved ones, taking advantage of the four-day holiday and end of three-month ‘stay at home’ orders, which were replaced with ‘stay local’ on Monday.
Pressure is mounting on Boris Johnson to speed up the lifting of lockdown restrictions, in the face of the shrinking outbreak and successful vaccination drive. But the Prime Minister has so far defied calls from anti-lockdown Tory MPs, sticking to his ultra-cautious roadmap back to normality.
Other police chiefs warned ministers that the ‘rule of six’ is virtually unenforceable because of the two household concession, which puts no limit on numbers.
Residents living around tourism hotspots are even being encouraged to report visiting second-home owners to the police, with Dorset’s police chief warning: ‘People are very quick to pick the phone up and tell us.’
Tourism bosses also cautioned crowds against triggering a ‘false start’ and urged people to hold fire on until the next big relaxation on April 12 when bars and restaurants open.
After officers grappled with a wave of disobedience, one police chief tore into the new guidance for being too hazy.
Dorset’s chief constable James Vaughan said ‘Like the travel guidance throughout the pandemic, it is slightly vague. The message from the Government whilst in this phase of the lockdown, it is still to say broadly local.
‘That is the advice. It is very difficult to enforce because there are no regulations behind it. I am not sure the stay local message is going to be very strong.’
Hundreds of people gathered on Primrose Hill yesterday as restrictions eased this week allowed them to meet outside. Pictured: People wear coats as they sit on the hill together
Police officers standing in the Castlefield Bowl area in Manchester City Centre last week after a massive rave
A survey by the RAC projects 5.6million cars will hit the road this weekend to visit loved ones, taking advantage of the four-day holiday and end of the ‘stay at home’ orders, which were replaced with ‘stay local’. Pictured, A14 traffic yesterday
Sun-seekers have since been seizing upon the recent heatwave and cramming at parks and beaches, which have been left strewn with rubbish to the disgust of locals.
Although the Met Office forecasts a looming dip in temperatures, officers are still braced for a spike in footfall at beauty spots.
Increased Easter patrols follow week of lockdown rule-breaking
Since lockdown was first eased on Monday police have been forced to disperse crowds straying beyond the newfound freedoms.
Cities across the country saw illegal gatherings broken up by officers:
MANCHESTER: Police cleared drinkers from Castlefield Bowl after revellers gathered for a live DJ set;
NOTTINGHAM: Officers seized bottles of alcohol from sunseekers and poured it onto the grass;
LEICESTER: Police begged parents to control their children, admitting they ‘could not sort this alone’;
HARBOROUGH: Councillor accused revellers they risk exploding ‘deadly Covid-19 timebomb’ after parties;
LEEDS: Police threatened to disperse further big crowds after fights broke out at Hyde Park in Leeds.
Police have also begged parents to control their children over the four-day Easter break after officers cleared thousands of boozy revellers from city centres across England last night.
Large crowds gathered in Manchester, London, Nottingham and Leeds on the last day of the UK’s searing 75F mini-heatwave, just days after national Covid-19 restrictions were eased.
Officers were seen clearing drinkers from Castlefield Bowl in Manchester city centre after hundreds gathered for a rave with a live DJ set, while police took similar action in London’s Hyde Park.
In Leeds, fights broke out in Hyde Park while police in Nottingham seized bottles of alcohol from sunseekers and poured it on the grass after ‘appalling scenes’ in the city’s arboretum earlier in the week.
While police in Leicestershire begged parents to control their children, Harborough councillor Phil Knowles accused revellers of ‘setting up another Covid-19 timebomb all set to explode’.
However, Chief Constable James Vaughan of Dorset Police has suggested the chaos witnessed on Wednesday – including a live DJ set and brawls – has been caused by ‘slightly vague’ messaging not backed by law.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson dropped the Stay at Home diktat in England on Monday, instead swapping it for a Stay Local message to try to encourage people to be cautious as lockdown eases.
Mr Vaughan said: ‘Like the travel guidance throughout the pandemic, it is slightly vague. The message from the Government whilst in this phase of the lockdown, it is still to say broadly local. It is very difficult to enforce because there are no regulations behind it. I am not sure the stay local message is going to be very strong.’
Paddy Tipping, Nottinghamshire’s police and crime commissioner, said that police believe they can control the crowds if they can ‘get on top of control over alcohol confiscation, and make the people holding it pour it away’.
The hot weather which baked much of the UK this week is set to give way to a chilly Easter weekend, with rain on Easter Sunday and possibly sleet or snow in Scotland.
Britain records fewest daily Covid cases since September
Britain’s daily coronavirus cases have almost halved in a week to the lowest level in almost seven months, official figures revealed today.
Department of Health bosses posted another 3,402 positive tests. It is the fewest infections reported in a 24-hour period since September 17 (3,395), before the second wave spiralled out of control. Officials also recorded 52 more deaths, down 26 per cent on last Friday’s figure.
Data also showed the UK dished out 435,000 top-up vaccines yesterday, the most since the roll-out kicked off in December. Another 150,000 first doses were also administered, meaning 31.3million Brits have now been jabbed.
The promising figures came as No10’s scientific advisers claimed England’s Covid R rate has not changed since last week, with the number staying between 0.8 and 1.0.[/news/sage/index.html]
SAGE cautioned the measure — which is based on three-week-old data and shows the average number of people each infected person passes the virus on to — didn’t ‘fully reflect’ schools reopening on March 8. And the panel warned the rate may now be as high as one in every region because cases are ‘levelling off’.
But scientists tracking the outbreak through other measures say it is clear letting children back into classrooms has had very little impact on the outbreak. An array of official data yesterday revealed cases have yet to spiral out of control since No10 took the first step back to normality.
The R rate is no longer at the heart of the Government’s Covid response, and will inevitably spike when restrictions are eased over the coming months. Ministers will only feel the need to act and delay the relaxation of lockdown if hospital admissions spiral out of control, like they did in October.
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