Thursday 25th June was the UK’s hottest day so far, and half a million people descended upon Bournemouth beach. We are still in partial lock-down and so no shops, pubs, restaurants, cafes or public toilets were open. All people could do was sit on the sand and fry, or swim in the sea. No social distancing was observed, and people were crammed on to the beach like sardines. Some got into fights, and 33 tonnes of litter was left for volunteers to pick up. The health minister declared it a major incident as the local authority and the police could not cope. Cars were dumped on roadsides due to lack of parking spaces, and 558 extra parking fines were given out.
When I saw the hordes of people on the beach, my first thought was … ‘what if they need to go to the toilet?’ Obviously this problem hadn’t dissuaded the crowds from arriving, and so I can only assume they did what they had to do in the sea. Now, would you want to swim in the sea where many people are treating it as a toilet because there was nowhere else to go? The stupidity of these people is amazing!
My second thought was that this flouting of lock-down restrictions may now cause a spike in the number of new coronavirus infections and/or deaths, and the Government will then impose lock-down for a longer period of time. These selfish people will then expect an already over-stretched NHS to treat them for a disease that they’ve brought upon themselves.
The health minister has mentioned closing off all the beaches until lock-down ends, but I would imagine that is an impossible task. The thin blue line would not stretch thinly enough to guard all the UK’s coast roads. The only other thing the police could do would be to issue on-the-spot fines for flouting lock-down.
This should have been a work day, and I expect many of these people had been furloughed, and therefore were being paid to enjoy themselves on the beach. My last thought is… isn’t it about time employers called furloughed staff back to work? Maybe then there wouldn’t be up to half a million people sitting on a beach in the middle of the week.