Health Secretary Matt Hancock has urged the public not to “blow it” on what could be the UK’s hottest March day since records began.
A mini-heatwave which has seen temperatures of over 24C in parts of the country already has coincided with the easing of lockdown restrictions in England, resulting in many people getting outside to make the most of their renewed freedom and the good weather.
The relaxed rules mean that groups of up to six, or two households, can now socialise outdoors, and outdoor sporting facilities can reopen.
Met Office forecaster Alex Burkhill said it was a “possibility” that Wednesday’s temperatures could surpass the March record of 25.6C (78F), set in 1968 at Mepal in Cambridgeshire.
It comes as the mercury peaked at 24.5C (76.1F) at Kew Gardens in west London on Tuesday – the hottest March day in 53 years.
But Health Secretary Matt Hancock issued a warning on Twitter on Tuesday evening, saying: “Let’s enjoy the sun but let’s do it safely. We have come so far, don’t blow it now.”
His comment comes after the Prime Minister said he hoped people would take advantage of the “beautiful weather” to play sport or exercise, while also emphasising the country should still “proceed with caution”.