Warning after Brighton beach packed during warm weather

A health expert has warned that Covid-19 could spread as people start to mix again after beaches and parks became “crowded” earlier this week.

A loosening of lockdown restrictions on Monday means people are now allowed to mix in groups of six, or two households, in any outdoor space.

Many took advantage of this, and the warm weather which washed over Brighton and Hove earlier this week, and made a beeline for the city’s beach.

A busy Brighton beach on Tuesday, March 30 Credit: Simon Dack

A busy Brighton beach on Tuesday, March 30 Credit: Simon Dack

Pictures showed a busy seafront with many people gathering in small groups to soak up the sunshine and see friends.

But Alistair Hill, Brighton and Hove City Council’s director of public health, has urged people to act safely and stick to social distancing measures to prevent coronavirus from spreading.

He said: “I need to remind everyone that Covid is still among us. Even though being outside in fresh air reduces the risk, the virus spreads most easily when people come into close contact with each other.

“We are at a crucial moment and it’s more important than ever to act safely to prevent the spread of infection that would undo the hard-gained results from lockdown.

A busy Brighton beach on Tuesday, March 30 Credit: Simon Dack

A busy Brighton beach on Tuesday, March 30 Credit: Simon Dack

“The government’s roadmap out of lockdown depends on infection rates remaining low to keep the pressure off the NHS while the vaccination programme rolls out.

“It’s imperative we all continue to do everything possible to keep the number of cases down and keep the pressure off the NHS, so that we can reach the goal of living without restrictions in June.

“Please continue to keep up the practices learned during lockdown and give space, wear face coverings and use hand sanitisers. And remember, outdoor gatherings are limited to six people or two households.

A busy Brighton beach on Tuesday, March 30 Credit: Simon Dack

A busy Brighton beach on Tuesday, March 30 Credit: Simon Dack

“As well as keeping a safe social distance within your own small groups, please be aware of other people and give space for them too.

“We have miles of beaches and acres of green space to enjoy in the city to enjoy without crowding.”

In the latest Public Health England, Brighton and Hove recorded 87 new coroanvirus cases in the week leading up to March 27, giving the city a rate of 29.9 new cases per 100,000 population.

A busy Brighton beach on Tuesday, March 30 Credit: Simon Dack

A busy Brighton beach on Tuesday, March 30 Credit: Simon Dack

This marked a fall of almost 20 per cent from the week before, when 108 cases were reported giving a rate of 37.1.

This is lower than the rate for England, which was 55 per 100,000 and the South East at 35 per 100,000.

Rates are even lower in the most vulnerable over 60 age group, a Brighton and Hove City Council statement issued today confirms.

The Argus | Brighton and Hove news