Second emergency Cobra meeting held as 40C heat looms and millions urged to work from home

·2-min read
A second meeting of Cobra has been held because of the heatwave  (PA)
A second meeting of Cobra has been held because of the heatwave (PA)

Millions have been urged to work from home during the peak of the heatwave next week as temperatures hit up to 40C.

The extreme heat, which is set to peak on Tuesday with record-breaking temperatures, prompted the Met Office to issue a red ‘danger to life’ warning.

Transport for London (TfL) is advising passengers to only travel for “essential journeys”.

Forecasters say there is an 80 per cent chance on Tuesday of the mercury topping the UK’s record temperature of 38.7C (101.7F) set in Cambridge in 2019.

After chairing the second emergency Cobra meeting on the heatwave, cabinet officer Kit Malthouse told the BBC: “Obviously the transport providers are messaging people that they should only travel if they really need to on Monday and Tuesday.

“Services are going to be significantly affected. The heat will affect rails, for example, so the trains have to run slower. There may be fewer services. People need to be on their guard for disruption.

“If they don’t have to travel, this may be a moment to work from home.”

The extreme heat is set to peak on Tuesday as record-breaking temperatures for the UK, with 40C predicted in some parts of the country (AP)
The extreme heat is set to peak on Tuesday as record-breaking temperatures for the UK, with 40C predicted in some parts of the country (AP)

It comes after the UK Health Security Agency issued a level four heat-health alert for the first time ever- which carries the warning fit and healthy people could fall ill and even die from the heat.

The threshold is reached when a heatwave is “so severe” or “prolonged” that its impacts extend beyond the health sector – which has faced intense pressure due to soaring temperatures.

Dr Claire Bronze, 38, who is an A&E consultant in London, said the extreme weather has been a “nightmare”, adding that she is worried about the effect the hot weather will have on patients and staff.

UK heatwave alert levels (PA Graphics)
UK heatwave alert levels (PA Graphics)

“A lot of hospital buildings are very old, particularly in London, and many don’t have air conditioning and windows that don’t open - so they are extremely hot,” Dr Bronze said.

“Some staff still have to wear PPE - so plastic gowns, masks, gloves - on top of their normal uniform which, as you can imagine, means people are quickly going to get very hot and dehydrated.

“Staff are struggling to go for breaks because it’s so busy, then to add to that across the NHS we’ve got so many staff members off sick with Covid at the moment too.”

Amber and red weather warnings across UK (PA Graphics)
Amber and red weather warnings across UK (PA Graphics)

While the UK sizzles in the heat, countries across Europe have been suffering devastating wildfires as tens of thousands of acres have been destroyed.

Police forces across the UK have issued a warning after a series of wildfires on moorland near Manchester, which officers now believe were started deliberately.

The blaze began last weekend and swept across part of Saddleworth Moor near a car park close to the Dovestone reservoir.

Following the fire, police have warned the public against having a barbeque or campfire in the countryside, or from starting a fire deliberately.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting