Covid: UK warm weather sees crowds gather on beaches and parks but Health Secretary warns Britons ‘don’t blow it now’

Forecasters say there is a possibility that Wednesday could be the hottest March day on record

People enjoy the warm Spring weather on Brighton beach on March 30, 2021. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

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.

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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”.

Hancock says "don't blow it now" as UK sees record-breaking March sunshine (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Members of the public enjoy the beach in Bournemouth, southwest England as a spell of warm weather covers the country on March 30, 2021. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)
People enjoy the sunshine in St James's Park, central London on March 30, 2021, as England's third Covid-19 lockdown restrictions eased on March 29, allowing groups of up to six people to meet outside. (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
People enjoy the sunshine in Battersea Park, central London on March 30, 2021, as England's third Covid-19 lockdown restrictions eased on March 29, allowing groups of up to six people to meet outside. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
People enjoy the sunshine on March 30, 2021 in Cambridge, England. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Members of the University of the Third Age iPhone photography group take advantage of the easing of lockdown and unseasonably warm weather to have an impromptu get together at Roses beach hut at Hove Lawns on March 30, 2021 in Brighton, England. (Photo by Chris Eades/Getty Images)
People enjoy the warm Spring weather and low tide on Brighton beach on March 30, 2021 (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
People pose for photographs beneath the blossom in Battersea Park on March 30, 2021. Despite todays temperature heading towards 24 degrees, next week is set to include a cold snap with frost and snow predicted. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
People pose for photographs beneath the blossom in Battersea Park on March 30, 2021. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)