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Sunday, July 12, 2020

The huge differences between Wales and England on the hottest day of the year so far

Parts of England and Wales have experienced their hottest day of the year so far.

But as temperatures rose above 20 ° C on each side of the border there was a stark difference between how people reacted.

Readings above 28 ° C in parts of south-east England sent hordes of sun worshipers who flocked to places of beauty and beaches.

Dozens of people were photographed gathering on the Weston-super-Mare seafront in England, just 12 miles as the crow flies from Barry Island.



Men playing football while enjoying the hottest day of the year so far in Weston-super-Mare
Men playing football while enjoying the hottest day of the year so far in Weston-super-Mare



Barry Island, by contrast, was almost deserted
Barry Island, by contrast, was almost deserted

Similar scenes can also be found in Cornwall and Southend in Essex.

It comes when the British government announced an easing of blocking restrictions in England on 10 May.

Boris Johnson has given the green light to people living in England to start driving to other destinations to exercise, spend time outdoors with people who are not part of their family, and even sunbathe in public spaces.

Meanwhile, Welsh Prime Minister Mark Drakeford, who has routinely said he prefers a four-country approach to easing restrictions, has confirmed that the same rules do not apply to the west of the English border.



Full parking in Weston-super-Mare on Wednesday
Full parking in Weston-super-Mare on Wednesday



One of the car parks on Barry Island, where current restrictions prohibit people from visiting
One of the car parks on Barry Island, where current restrictions prohibit people from visiting

In Wales an unlimited number of daily exercises are now allowed, but they must be alone or together with family members.

Meetings with other families are not allowed and travel is not necessary.

The restrictions eliminate potential beach trips to Wales, unless they are local and used for exercise, and the sun remains prohibited in public.

On Wednesday afternoon in southern Wales, where temperatures peaked around 24 ° C, few people ventured onto Barry Island beach.



Bathers enjoy the warm climate of Weston-super-Mare while people flock to parks and beaches with loose block sizes in England
Bathers enjoy the warm climate of Weston-super-Mare while people flock to parks and beaches with loose block sizes in England



Barry Island beach has been frequented by more seagulls than people on the hottest day of the year so far
Barry Island beach has been frequented by more seagulls than people on the hottest day of the year so far

There were no signs of swimmers or swimmers and the ice cream parlors and chippies in the area remained closed.

Divergent thinking between the governments of England and Wales has led to frustration for many.

While some in England are embracing a renewed sense of freedom, others are concerned about the potential implications of a quick return to normal.

Harriet Williams, 25, of Weston-super-Mare, told WalesOnline that today the boardwalk looked “pre-Covid-19 summer day”.

He said visitors had come in swimsuits with curtains and umbrellas in tow. People could be seen sunbathing and children ran around playing.



Bathers enjoy the heat in Weston-super-Mare
Bathers enjoy the heat in Weston-super-Mare



Barry Island beach was almost deserted despite temperatures around 24 ° C in South Wales

“They are all buying food in beach shops without standing in line or at a distance of two meters,” he said.

“Two weeks ago the beaches were empty, only a couple of dog walkers.”

In Wales, where the Community transmission of the virus remains higher, many welcomed the stricter restrictions.

Tracey Adams of Barry said: “I know Wales is now at its peak just like the rest of the UK, but I think we still have to be careful.



People lined up for ice cream in Weston-super-Mare
People lined up for ice cream in Weston-super-Mare



Police patrol BarryIsland on Wednesday
Police patrol BarryIsland on Wednesday

“I would like to go to Barry Island on a day like today, but if the beach is crowded the social distance could be difficult. I feel anxious enough to go shopping once a week.”

For Marlene Lodge, 70, it’s a relief that most people are following the rules. “Since I’m over 70, I’m happy with the measurements and feel more confident when shopping,” he said.

But what is happening in England is more worrying. “We will soon see the consequences in 10 days.”

The next review of the blockade measures in both Wales and England will take place on 28 May.

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