The sun is shining and many of us have been cooped up inside for weeks. The urge to get out, see friends, and resume our normal lives is tempting beyond belief. But this weekend is our chance to prove that every single one of us can make a difference in the fight against coronavirus.
It can be hard fighting an invisible enemy. For those of us who aren’t key workers, our fight isn’t on the frontline. We’re not being called up to the beaches or the battlefield. And in some ways, it would be easier if there was a visible enemy we could fight. It would be easier if it didn’t feel like the best action we could take is inaction.
But while invisible, this enemy is very real. As we process the tragic news that on 4 April, a reported further 708 people had died from coronavirus, this is a battle that impacts every one of us.
So this weekend is our opportunity. It’s our chance to show all our fellow citizens that we care enough about each other to do one simple thing – to stay at home. And it’s not just our health that’s at stake, so are our civil liberties – as the Network for Police Monitoring’s (Netpol) coordinator Kevin Blowe tweeted:
Don't give the police the excuse to say "we told you the public couldn't be trusted" and then demand on even greater restrictions on our lives. Apart from exercise, shopping or other urgent reasons, stay home this weekend and make sure to physically isolate #StaySafeStayTogether
— Kevin Blowe 🏴★ (@copwatcher) April 4, 2020
A holiday is not essential travel
Police forces across the country are warning that going on holiday is not a good enough excuse to travel. And second homeowners are being told to keep away as Sunday 5 April is set to be the warmest day in six months.
Forces have said they will issue fines and punishments if they see people making non-essential journeys this weekend after health secretary Matt Hancock said the country cannot relax on social distancing, adding: “If we do, people will die.”
Gloucestershire Police also issued a warning on holidays, saying officers will be stopping people who look like they may be heading away for a few days.
The force said: “there has been particular concern among some communities that people who own second homes in the area will be visiting over the Easter holiday” and visitors will put extra pressure on the local NHS.
Meanwhile, 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”.
And Dorset Council is taking a similar approach with the council closing seafront parking bays and stopping the RNLI patrol in an attempt to prevent people from gathering at the seaside.
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