Nicola Sturgeon has pleaded ‘don’t jeopardise our progress’ fighting coronavirus after huge crowds gathered in a Scots park last night.
The First Minister took to Twitter to appeal for people to maintain social distancing after police in Glasgow had to clear Kelvingrove Park from partying crowds.
The west end park was swarmed with hundreds of people basking in the hot weather – with many groups of youngsters drinking in the green space.
Sturgeon tweeted: “Crowded places risk a resurgence of COVID – and risk lives. I understand the desire to enjoy the hot weather – but PLEASE don’t jeopardise our progress. Follow the rules – they’re for the protection of you and your loved ones. My thanks to Police Scotland for helping keep us safe.”
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Her plea came as at least 50 police officers, some carrying riot shields, cleared the Glasgow park making two arrests.
Police Scotland said they closed Kelvingrove Park because of the number of people there, many of whom were drinking in breach of local by-laws.
Current lockdown restrictions prohibit gatherings of more than eight people.
The same message came from Chris Whitty, the UK chief medical officer, as a major incident was declared in Bournemouth on England’s Dorset coast where an estimated half a million people flocked to the beach.
Whitty urged people to follow social distancing rules in the hot weather or risk causing a spike in coronavirus.
He wrote on Twitter: “Covid-19 has gone down due to the efforts of everyone but is still in general circulation.
“If we do not follow social distancing guidance then cases will rise again.”
“Naturally people will want to enjoy the sun but we need to do so in a way that is safe for all.”
Matt Hancock, the UK Health Secretary, warned that the government had the power to close public areas such as beaches if people continued to flout safety restrictions.
Meanwhile the World Health Organisation said it was “touch and go” that local virus outbreaks can be controlled with track and trace systems and people self-isolating.
Dr David Nabarro, a World Health Organisation Covid-19 special envoy, said: “I’m pretty confident that most European countries are going to do well.
“We’ve seen for example in Poland, Germany, Spain, a really effective response to these kinds of resurgences but it is touch and go.”
He added: “I really think that Chris Whitty’s point that ‘the virus is still in general circulation’ is important.
“So let’s hope that we are able to prevent these small clusters and little outbreaks from becoming overwhelming as we had earlier this year.”