Britons hoping to catch lap up the sun during the heatwave were told to stay away from beaches on the south coast as huge crowds made social distancing impossible.
Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council’s beach checking app listed a series of areas as red on Friday, meaning “avoid, social distancing not possible”.
The warning came as temperatures soared into the mid-30s in the south of England.
The beaches where councils told visitors to stay away on Friday were:
Beaches have repeatedly been held up as a cause for concern as the UK hopes to avoid a second wave of the coronavirus.
Photos across the summer have shown crowds gathering at the coast, which led to health secretary Matt Hancock threatening to shut them if people didn’t adhere to social distancing guidelines.
In June, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council declared a major incident after people crowded onto beaches, making services “completely overstretched” and leaving 41 tonnes of rubbish strewn on the sand.
Dispersal orders were made for beach piers and additional police were brought in.
HM Coastguard said about 70 call-outs had been made by midday on Friday, “above average for this time of year”.
Its busiest day for four years was recorded on 31 July, with 329 incidents in the third warmest UK day on record.
Matt Leat, head of infrastructure and technology lead at HM Coastguard, said: “The coast is very busy today and that’s grown across the morning and will continue to grow as the day goes on.
“Looking back to last Friday (July 31), we are going to hit that many number of call-outs potentially today and this weekend.”
He added: “It’s highly possible some of the beaches are the busiest in a number of years.”
The Met Office has warned against underestimating the impact heat can have on people.
Grahame Madge, a Met Office spokesman, said: “Everyone needs to be careful during this heatwave, especially on Friday, where we are going to see a dramatic rise in temperature in some parts, exceeding the heatwave threshold.
“After a slightly cooler week, people should make sure they aren’t caught out. If you need to travel, keep hydrated and apply sunscreen; the chance of sunburn and dehydration will be much higher.”
Coronavirus: what happened today
Click here to sign up to the latest news and information with our daily Catch-up newsletter