Health Secretary warns it WILL close all beaches, after major incident declared in Bournemouth

June 26, 2020 - 12:10 AM - 220 views

The Health Secretary Matt Hancock has warned that the Government has powers to close public areas such as beaches if social distancing rules are not being observed

Mr Hancock's comments come after Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council declared a "major incident" after thousands of people defied advice to stay away and descended on beaches in Dorset on the hottest day of the year so far. 

Services were described as having been left "completely overstretched" as visitors arrived in large volumes, and the council said there had been "a number of incidents reported which involved excessive alcohol and fights"

Asked if he would consider shutting some beaches in extreme cases after scenes in Bournemouth, Mr Hancock told TalkRadio: "Well, we do have that power. I am reluctant to use it because people have had a pretty tough lockdown.

"Everybody should be able to enjoy the sunshine. The key is to do it with respect. Stay with your households. Stay a good distance from other households. Outside is safer than inside. So, you have got to respect the rules. Respect the fact that social distancing is still important.

"We do have those powers - and if we see a spike in the number of cases, then we will take action."

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'It's like Armageddon': Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council declare a "major incident" after thousands of people ignored advice to stay away and flocked to Dorset's beaches, leaving social distancing guidelines ignored and roads gridlocked. 

In response to the scenes in Bournemouth, the Health Secretary Matt Hancock has told people that the Government has powers to close public areas like beaches if social distancing rules are not being observed.

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