Going on holiday is not an acceptable excuse for travelling during the coronavirus lockdown, police have warned, as the UK is expected to see its warmest day of the year so far this weekend.
The warning came after Boris Johnson, the prime minister, urged the public to continue to follow social distancing measures and stay indoors.
Forces have said they will issue fines and punishments if they see people making nonessential journeys this weekend and breaking strict rules on travel designed to slow the spread of Covid-19.
Gloucestershire Police has issued a warning on holidays and said officers will stop people who look like they may be heading away for a few days.
“Gloucestershire has always been a popular destination for tourists and usually we would be delighted to see people wanting to visit the county,” Assistant chief constable Craig Holden said.
“However, given the current situation, it is clear that going on holiday is not a reasonable excuse for travelling, whether it is to visit a holiday cottage or to stay at a campsite.
“We are doing all we can to protect our local communities and we would ask that people from outside the county do not put extra pressure on our resources.”
Mr Holden added that the same message applied to people in Gloucestershire, who might be thinking about leaving the county to travel elsewhere.
Matt Hancock, the health secretary, has warned that the UK cannot relax its social distancing measures and said “people will die” if restrictions on travel and social contact are not followed.
Meanwhile, in Hampshire, officers and paramedics have told people to stick to social distancing after three ambulances were called on a “selfish and avoidable deployment” to a man having a bad acid trip following a house party.
Authorities in Wales have closed beach-side car parks to deter people from “using the weather to treat what is a national crisis like a national holiday”.
Mark Thomas, cabinet member for highways and infrastructure at Swansea Council, said: “We absolutely cannot afford a repeat of the behaviour witnessed on previous occasions.”
Two weeks ago, images posted on social media showed parks and beaches across the UK were still busy despite the government’s warning to minimise social contact due to Covid-19.
Soon after, on 23 March, Mr Johnson announced a nationwide lockdown and police powers to enforce rules to slow the spread of the virus.
Dorset Council has taken the same approach to Swansea, with the council closing seafront parking bays and stopping the RNLI patrol in an attempt to prevent people from gathering at the seaside.
One police chief has said officers would “explain” and “encourage” people to stick to the rules, but would enforce with fines and punishments if people were not listening.
“When we come to enforcement, that [issuing fines] really is a last resort because, in a way, if we come to enforcement, then everybody has failed to understand the significance of this endeavour,” Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer, from Devon and Cornwall Police, told BBC Breakfast.
Sunday is expected to be "a beautiful spring day” with “blue skies and sunshine for much of the day for much of the UK”, according to forecasters.
Steven Keates, a meteorologist for the Met Office, said “in other times of the year we would be saying it's a good time to be out and about, but obviously that is not the advice at the moment”.
He predicted some parts of the UK could see temperatures at about 20-21C, which would be the first time the country has seen over 20C since 1 October last year.
Additional reporting by PA