Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Underwood said officers would not hesitate to “use enforcement” if the need arises when dealing with an influx of travellers. Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme, he said Friday was the busiest day in nine weeks for police in Bournemouth. Thousands flocked to the strand, voted Britain’s best beach, to soak up the sun two months into the lockdown. And even bigger crowds are expected this weekend as temperatures soar to beyond 20C.
When asked if the numbers arriving in Bournemouth were becoming a problem, he said: “Yes, they are.
“And, of course, there is the obvious dilemma of the lockdown reducing and normal policing picking up starting to realise itself.
“For example, yesterday was the busiest day for Bournemouth police for nine weeks – it was a normal Friday but yet the police were the busiest they have ever been because things are starting to pick up and numbers are increasing.”
He said officers are worried about people travelling to the South West for overnight stays – something which is not permitted under Boris Johnson’s lockdown rules.
Mr Underwood warned anyone planning to stay in the region for a night or two runs the risk of being slapped with a fine.
He added: “The main issue we are worried about is the influx of people coming into Dorset and of course there are two issues – one is travelling to the South West and the other is people attempting to stay in the South West.
“If you are stopped on an arterial road in the South West the five forces could stop you and question you, and if they think you are planning on staying overnight, they can then go to the next level.
“They will use enforcement if they have to.”
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8.44am update: Expert says schools should be allowed to reopen
Professor Russell Viner, senior author of a report for University College London which stated that children have half the chance of catching coronavirus compared to adults, said schools should be allowed to reopen.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, the president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health said: “Children are the safest group to be out of lockdown, to be out in the wild.
“Covid-19 generally barely affects children and young people and actually we’ve shown that they are about half as susceptible.
“For children themselves, we need to balance the risk of not opening our schools for children’s health and wellbeing, particularly their mental health, is high. I think there is no doubt in my mind for children themselves, the balances are clearly in favour of going back to school.”
He said the risks to the wider community could be managed with an effective track-and-trace system, a phased restart of schools by age group, putting in place good hygiene and social distancing for pupils and teachers, and monitoring what happens with transmission as a result.
He added: “We need to prepare to step back for a minute if there are issues.”
8.39am update: Russia reports 9,434 new coronavirus cases
Russia’s total number of cases now stands at 335,882.