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Crowds head to beaches and parks to enjoy 28C scorcher despite social distancing rules

Don’t sand so close to me: The beach at Bournemouth is packed with sunseekers, making social distancing difficult PICTURE: PA

SUNBATHERS packed parks and beaches across England yesterday on what was confirmed as the hottest day of the year so far — despite fears over social distancing.

Cooling off: Faye Faybourne, 17, takes a dip at King Edward’s Bay, North Tyneside PICTURE: PA

Hordes of people headed to the coast as the Met Office said a temperature of 28.2C was recorded at in Santon Downham, Suffolk, topping Tuesday’s 26.2C in London.

As police patrolled open spaces to make sure people obeyed the rules, Rother district council in East Sussex was forced to close the packed car parks at Camber Sands. It said: ‘Please stay safe and don’t travel to our beaches.’

Blue horizon: Jet skiers and paddle boarders head out to sea at Sandbanks in Poole, Dorset PICTURE: REUTERS

Crowded car parks were also shut at Scarborough in North Yorkshire. Brighton, Portsmouth and Bournemouth on the south coast, Weston-super-Mare in Somerset and Cullercoats and Whitley Bay in North Tyneside were other hotspots as people took advantage of Boris Johnson’s advice that we can ‘sit in the sun’ and ‘drive to other destinations’.

Wall-to-wall visitors: Crowds at Hot Walls Beach in Old Portsmouth, Hampshire PICTURE: PA

Meanwhile Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland continued to urge people to ‘stay home’.

Forecasters predict cooler weather over the long weekend, with thunderstorms today, rain tomorrow, and temperatures of 20-23C on Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday.