Public urged to stay at home over Easter weekend

The public has been urged to stay at home and help save lives by resisting the temptation to travel over Easter.

Despite forecasting that temperatures could reach up to 25C in some parts of the country over the weekend, the Met Office emphasised people should follow the Government's strict lockdown rules.

Politicians, police, rail companies and tourist sites have also warned people must continue to avoid all non-essential travel amid the coronavirus outbreak.

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Pictures of the week: April 5 - 11
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Pictures of the week: April 5 - 11
A road sign advising drivers to stay home and not to travel during the Easter Weekend on the M80 near Banknock as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Adverts encouraging people to stay at home are displayed in an empty Picadilly Circus, as the UK continues its lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. Picture date: Thursday April 9, 2020. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/Empics
Empty streets and boarded up shops, restaurants and theatres on Old Compton Street in Soho, London, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. Picture date: Thursday April 9, 2020. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/Empics
A teenager draws a rainbow and an NHS logo on the wall of her house in Liverpool in support of the NHS as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A police officer talks to members of the public about adhering to social distancing guidelines in Northampton, as Northants Police announce they are toughening up their social distancing enforcement, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of Covid-19.
Two knitted NHS doctors are fitted over bollards outside a house in Oldland Common, South Gloucestershire, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
An image of Queen Elizabeth II and quotes from her Corona epidemic broadcast to the UK and Commonwealth is displayed in Piccadilly Circus, London. Picture date: Wednesday 8th April 2020. Photo credit should read: David Jensen/ EMPICS Entertainment
The Nishkam SWAT (Sikh Welfare & Awareness Team) mobile outreach service serving hot meals and drinks to the homeless and less fortunate from their van in Trafalgar Square, London, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Customers queue outside a store, standing two metre apart guided by social distancing floor markers in London, UK on April 8, 2020. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson remains in intensive care with the coronavirus, infecting more than 55,000 people across the country and nearly 6,200 have died. (Photo by Claire Doherty/Sipa USA)
Medical staff demonstrate how they take samples at an MOT testing centre in Belfast, Northern Ireland, which is being used as a drive through testing location for Covid-19, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Christmas lights are used to show appreciation for the NHS on a house in Cambridge Drive in Chandler's Ford near Eastleigh, Southampton, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Three police officers wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as a precautionary measure against Covid-19, visit a home in Brixton, south London, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. Picture date: Monday April 6, 2020.
A woman jogging on the Millennium Bridge in London, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Shuttered stores and police patrols on Ann Street in Belfast, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
John Fowler of IHP at the new temporary NHS Nightingale Hospital North West being built at Manchester Central conference centre in Manchester, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Picture taken at 1046am of Military personnel help administer Covid19 tests for NHS workers at Edgbaston cricket ground in Birmingham, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A woman walks past a boarded up restaurant in Edinburgh's Old Town as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Dog walkers maintain social distancing at Blyth beach near Whitley Bay in Northern England as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
The BT tower screens a message encouraging people to stay at home, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus
General view of a visibly quiet Westminster Bridge in London, UK on April 6, 2020. Last night Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to St Thomas' Hospital for undergoing tests after suffering 'persistent' symptoms of coronavirus for 10 days, this evening Prime Minister Johnson condition worsened and he was taken to intensive care. There have been almost 50,000 reported cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus in the United Kingdom and almost 5,000 deaths. The country is in its third week of lockdown measures aimed at slowing the spread of the virus. (Photo by Claire Doherty/Sipa USA)
The National Gallery is closed to the public due to the spread of coronavirus. Boris Johnson, announced strict lockdown measures urging people to stay at home and only leave the house for basic food shopping, exercise once a day and essential travel to and from work. Around 50,000 reported cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the United Kingdom and 5,000 deaths. The country is in its third week of lockdown measures aimed at slowing the spread of the virus. (Photo by Rahman Hassani / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Robin Smith, 20 exercises at Endcliffe park in Sheffield. The British Government imposed nationwide lockdown to minimise the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). (Photo by Yiannis Alexopoulos / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Beach patrol speak with a member of the public while patrolling the seafront in Brighton, East Sussex, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of Coronavirus.
File photo dated 27/03/20 of a rainbow made from bottle caps in Muston, Leicestershire, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. Queen Elizabeth II gave a televised message to the nation during the coronavirus outbreak.
People buy ice creams on Brighton beach, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Members of the public sunbathe in Regents Park, London, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Police move on sunbathers in Regents Park, London, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Cyclists by the river Avon in a near-deserted Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A 'Please stay 2 metres apart' sign on Brighton beach, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Members of the public exercise on Primrose Hill, London, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
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The Easter weekend is typically one of the busiest for the UK's roads and tourist destinations.

But an AA survey has suggested that more than 20 million Easter getaway journeys will be scrapped this year as families abandon holiday plans.

Rail companies Northern and TransPennine Express have joined forces with the British Transport Police to launch a campaign reminding people it is "not acceptable" to use services for leisure activities this weekend.

HEALTH Coronavirus
(PA Graphics)

Train operators have introduced amended timetables to help key workers get around and those needing to make essential journeys.

But they said passenger numbers "rose dramatically" during last weekend's good weather as some people ignored official advice and headed to the coast and beauty spots.

HEALTH Coronavirus
(PA Graphics)

Superintendent Glen Alderson, of British Transport Police, said there would be an increased presence of officers at popular stations over the weekend to ensure people followed government advice.

Meanwhile, the National Trust also urged people to stay at home, with all its properties, gardens and beauty spots already closed during the nationwide lockdown.

In London, where good weather is predicted this weekend, people were reminded that the reduced service running on the capital's transport network was there only for critical workers.

The number of people using Tube and rail services has plummeted by around 95%, while bus usage has fallen by around 85%, Transport for London said.

In Wales, first minister Mark Drakeford joined council leaders and emergency and health services in signing a letter addressed to the Welsh people urging them not to break lockdown rules.

They wrote: "These rules are there to protect you and your loved ones. For most people the virus will cause a mild illness, but there's a large number of people – children, adults and grandparents – who are at risk of serious illness if they are exposed."

HEALTH Coronavirus
(PA Graphics)

Met Office meteorologist Luke Miall, said that the Easter weekend would get off to a warm start before gradually becoming cooler.

Temperatures could reach 24 or 25C in southern areas on Good Friday, with the risk of some showers in parts of Scotland, the North East and the Midlands by the afternoon.

The south will also be warm on Saturday, with conditions cooler elsewhere, and the risk of showers from mid-Wales northward as the day goes on.

On Easter Sunday temperatures will be cooler across the country and the focus of showers will be more on England and Wales.

By Monday temperatures will sink lower still, falling to around 14 or 15C in the South, with most places being drier.

Mr Miall said: "Despite the weather being tempting, the advice is to stay home and stay safe and remember to do that."

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