BRITS have flocked to beaches and parks today – despite cops imposing Asbo-style bans on cities and town centres to control the Easter crowds.
The new rules mean that anyone older than 10 engaging in “anti-social behaviour” can be banned from an area for up to two days.
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Cops will also be able to confiscate booze.
Anyone who breaks the order by refusing to move on or coming back before they’re allowed can be jailed for up to three months.
Rule-breakers can also be fined £2,500.
In Manchester there is a blanket 48-hour “disposal order” for the whole city centre – lasting until 3pm tomorrow – after hundreds gathered for an illegal rave on Wednesday night, breaking strict Covid restrictions.
A “dispersal order” has been introduced in Nottingham after a large group of boozy students brawled and were caught weeing in park bushes at the Arboretum on the first day of lockdown easing.
Similar rules are in place in areas of Leeds, in Shrewsbury town centre and in large parts of Leigh-on-Sea, Essex to stop crowds meeting.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged people not to meet indoors or stay overnight as temperatures plummet over the Easter weekend.
Crowds have been enjoying the tail-end of the mini heatwave outdoors across the country.
Parks, beaches and beauty spots have been packed full of sunseekers as temperatures remain mild.
But speaking in a video on social media this morning, the PM issued a warning to anyone planning to see loved ones for the first time in months over Easter.
He said the country is “not yet” at the stage where families and friends can meet inside, even if they have been vaccinated.
Mr Johnson added: “We’re very much in a world where you can meet friends and family outdoors under the rule of six or two households.
“And even though friends and family members may be vaccinated, the vaccines are not giving 100 per cent protection and that’s why we just need to be cautious.
“We don’t think they entirely reduce or remove the risk of transmission.”
His warning comes as Britain braces for a “massive step down” in temperatures on Sunday night into Monday, with all areas across the UK approaching freezing.
Up to six inches of “severe” snow could fall in some parts with “nowhere immune” from a -5C Arctic plunge.
Monday saw gatherings of up to six people or two households permitted outdoors for the first time in months.
And Brits made the most of the new rules, which came the UK experienced the hottest March day in 50 years, with thousands heading outside to enjoy the sun.
But ahead of the four-day weekend, the Metropolitan Police called for calm, echoing Mr Johnson’s caution.
They insisted officers “make no apology for our tough stance on shutting down those large gatherings which pose a serious risk to public health”.
And experts warned Brits could face another Covid lockdown if mass crowds party in parks and gardens over the Easter weekend.
They said the virus is still dangerous and flouting the rules and dodging social distancing could plunge the country back into tougher restrictions later down the line – or delay the roadmap out of lockdown.
Professor Lawrence Young told the Sun Online: “The virus is still out there and very infectious.
“While the risk of transmission is low in outdoor spaces, crowding together could result in some spread of the virus and it’s too easy to take liberties which we consider to be low risk but aren’t – e.g. close contact by hugging or popping inside to go to somebody else’s toilet.
“We need to hang on in there with the current restrictions for a bit longer – none of us want another lockdown.”
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Under the current rules, small gatherings of up to six people – or two households – are permitted outdoors.
And the government’s ‘stay at home’ and ‘stay local’ rules have also been scrapped meaning there is no legal limit on how far you can travel.
But meetings indoors and overnight stays are still banned.