Thousands of people flocked to parks, pools and beaches in England today as the first easing of lockdown measures combined with unseasonably scorching temperatures.
Under new rules that came into force yesterday, six people are allowed to meet outdoors or in a private garden, while the government has scrapped its ‘stay at home’ message.
The newfound freedoms were met with balmy weather as temperatures hit record heights.
The mercury climbed to 24.2 degrees in St James’ Park this afternoon, marking the highest March temperature in 53 years.
Unlocked Brits were keen to get out and about to enjoy their first taste of freedom, with hopes for lockdown to be lifted entirely in June.
Large numbers of people flocked to parks across London, with socially-distanced groups photographed in locations including St James’ Park, Primrose Hill and by Tower Bridge.
Sun-seekers also soaked up the rays on beaches across the country, including Brighton and Bournemouth.
People also rushed back to swimming pools, football pitches, tennis courts and golf courses as outdoor sports were allowed to resume.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer was last night pictured playing for his local 8-a-side football team to celebrate the restarting of grassroots sports.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday said he hoped the first easing of lockdown would help to “kickstart a Great British summer of sport”.
But he warned Brits to remain cautious and stick to the rules as cases continue to rise across Europe and new variants threaten the UK’s vaccine rollout.