B&Q store

Shoppers in York leave a B&Q store which saw a steady flow of people coming in and out
Boris Johnson was today told to 'get a grip' by police chiefs over nonsensical lockdown rules that saw lone sunbathers scolded but hundreds allowed to gather outside B&Qs across Britain this weekend.

With no exit plan in sight, large numbers of Britons went out to shop and enjoy the weather over the weekend amid fears the lockdown appears to be unravelling.

Police were seen speaking to individuals sunbathing alone or with a partner in Greenwich Park, Hyde Park and St James' Park in London yesterday.

Yet B&Q's decision to reopen 130 stores saw massive queues forming outside its outlets in Watford, Edinburgh, Bristol and Swansea, as people used the shutdown to catch up on DIY.

Today Ken Marsh, chair of the Met Police Federation, said: 'You can't have a scenario where police are telling two people in a park not to sit on a bench but 50 yards away there's 300 people, can't put a fag packet between them, queuing to go into a DIY store.

He told TalkRadio : 'If officers are confused about all this then so will the public be.

'Police officers are on the front line of combating the coronavirus crisis. We need clear and unambiguous laws, guidance and communication from the Government around what the public can and can't do. What is essential and what isn't'.

Boris Johnson is back in work today after almost losing his life to coronavirus and there are deafening calls for him to reveal an exit plan to loosen Britain's lockdown.

There were signs that the public's temperance was creaking as beaches in Brighton and Bournemouth as well as parks all over the UK were busier than they had been over the past five weeks.

Various forces have highlighted the most flagrant breaches of the guidance they have come across on social media - but others have complained of a heavy-handed approach.

Devon and Cornwall Police fined a couple from Kent for driving around 300 miles for a 'mini-break' by the sea. Their car was confiscated after the driver was found to have no licence or insurance.

Ten people from London who travelled 245 miles to go walking in North Wales were sent home and reported by police for breaking lockdown rules.

The group, travelling in two separate vehicles, had travelled the five-hour journey from the capital earlier on Sunday.

But they were stopped by police near their destination on the A5 in Bethesda.

They told officers they were intending to go walking in Snowdonia, the mountainous National Park in North Wales.

Instead, officers from North Wales Police, who tweeted brief details of the incident, reported them for breaching lockdown laws.

Two couples from Slough have been sent packing by police after they turned up at an Airbnb 100 miles away in Gloucestershire for a weekend break in flagrant breach of lockdown rules.

The incident near Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, was one of several breaches reported in the area over weekend.

The two couples were warned and told to leave the county by the police.

Officers in the same area of Gloucestershire also shut down a hand car wash and gave warnings to people attending BBQs and house parties.

In one of the most picturesque Cotswold villages, Bibury, near Cirencester, police gave warnings to groups of daytrippers from five different counties. One car had travelled 100 miles from Enfield in in London for the outing.

In Gwent, officers described it is 'unacceptable' that people drove nearly 12 miles from Newport to the blue lagoon at Pantygasseg.

And a pub in Pendeford, Wolverhampton, had its licence suspended for three weeks for secretly serving alcohol.

Police at Roath Park, Cardiff, have also broken up groups working out together as well as people playing American Football and soccer.

Police vans and PCSOs have been regularly patrolling the area to ensure people are obeying lockdown.

Gavin and Stacey star Ruth Jones, whose home overlooks the park, previously recorded a video thanking the people who are staying home.

Health officials fear Britons are starting to get complacent about the Covid-19 lockdown after traffic and mobile phone data revealed more of us are on the roads and looking for directions.

Professor Stephen Powis, national medical director of NHS England, said on Saturday 'there was a little bit of concern' after the unseasonably warm weather drew big crowds to public spaces.

The Metropolitan Police sent officers on bikes to keep an eye on London's Hyde Park, while North Yorkshire Police revealed 50% of shutdown fines issued so far have gone to tourists visiting beauty spots in the area.

At the Downing Street briefing, Prof Powis said traffic levels are down 59% compared to February, but grew by three percentage points in the last seven days compared to the previous week.

Mobility data released by Apple revealed that despite a dramatic drop in requests for directions, in recent days searches for maps for walking or driving have increased by eight percentage points.

Prof Powis said: 'It won't take much for this virus to start increasing its transmission again and to spread more widely.'

He added: 'It would be foolish and not right if we lost the benefits that we have gained over the last four weeks, which I know have been hard for everybody.

'So it's really important that despite the weather, we stay at home, we keep to the guidelines that we've been issued with.'

The British Retail Consortium has published measures it believes will allow members to safely reopen.

The tourism industry is also working on proposals that will maintain social distancing rules while allowing some hotels, theme parks and attractions to relaunch.

DIY chains such as B&Q, Homebase and Wickes have seen long queues after opening many outlets.

Queues of shoppers were seen snaking outside B&Q stores and fast-food outlets across Scotland amid some being allowed to reopen.

Burger King's chief executive has confirmed that the fast-food chain will reopen four branches north of the Border, in Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Glasgow and Dundee.

KFC and Pret a Manger have begun a phased reopening and McDonald's is rumoured to be following suit in the next few weeks.

Many small independent cafes and coffee shops have opened to launch take-away services. Timpson, the key-cutting and shoe repair specialists, is opening some stores with strict hygiene and social distancing.

And the budget airline Wizz Air is to restart some flights from Luton Airport on Friday, becoming one of the first European carriers to begin restoring services.