Families urged to abide by the rules as they lap up sunny spell

Visitors basked in the sunshine across Shropshire’s beauty spots to make the most of bright weather ahead of the first weekend out of the lockdown in England.

An easing of restrictions saw residents return to shops and beer gardens. The Mere, in Ellesmere, proved a popular destination along with The Quarry, in Shrewsbury.

But the public are being urged not to let their guard down and remain alert, as Covid is still prevalent. The county’s public health experts are urging everyone to enjoy the good weather safely by meeting outdoors only in groups of up to six or two households.

They are also asking the public to keep safe distances in shops and wear a face covering unless exempt. People should also not meet with anyone indoors, unless they live with them, travel should be kept to a minimum and employees should still work from home where possible.

Aileen Buck, and her daughter Niamh Buck, aged 6, enjoy the sunshine and a ice cream at The Quarry, Shrewsbury

Families have been taking advantage of the weather during the last week of the Easter holidays as the sun shone across the county.

Following on from last week’s unsettled weather – with sun, snow and rain sweeping the region – the sunny spells are now predicted to continue into next week. The bright weather is also likely to attract customers in their droves to shops, pub gardens and restaurants, which has led police forces and public health bosses to warn residents to stick to coronavirus social-distancing rules.

Beer gardens have been filled all week as punters enjoy a pint and see friends for the first time this year.

People walking at The Mere in Ellesmere

Despite restrictions easing, residents are being urged not to let their guard down and remain alert, as Covid-19 is still prevalent in England.

Shropshire’s public health director Rachel Robinson said: “This week’s easing of restrictions is the positive result of everyone’s hard work to stop the spread of the virus and reduce the number of Covid-19 cases.

“Everyone across Shropshire has gone to remarkable lengths to protect themselves, their loved ones and our most vulnerable, and we are truly grateful for the way in which communities have united to support each other through the restrictions.

Strolling in the sunshine at The Quarry, Shrewsbury

"While many will be delighted they can once again see friends and family again, or venture to the pub, I would urge everyone to continue following public health guidance, such as practising social distancing, when meeting others. We also ask our own residents to show our local communities respect and courtesy. This includes the simple things like parking responsibly, respecting the countryside and taking litter away.”

Telford and Wrekin’s public health director Liz Noakes added: “Keeping our borough’s infection rates low is essential as restrictions are being eased – I’m sure no-one wants to go back to tougher restrictions. Everyone can play their part in this.”

But in Wales, there will be a longer wait for some activities to reopen and restart. From April 26, outdoor hospitality will resume for pubs, restaurants and cafes. From May 3, gyms can open while two households will be able to meet indoors.

The Mere in Ellesmere

Powys’s economy and environment boss Nigel Brinn said: “We want to thank everyone in Powys for their exceptional efforts in respecting social distancing and helping us fight the virus. It’s been a long, hard winter for all of us, but summer is now around the corner and we can all hopefully start to feel more positive.

"We ask everyone to be patient, to avoid busy crowds and not to put unnecessary pressure on public services in what are still challenging times.” Saturday to Monday’s forecast states: “Dry throughout, with many sunny spells and variable amounts of cloud. Daytime temperatures gradually rising but frosts still possible.”

The Met Office’s long-range forecast from Monday to April 28, says outbreaks of rain will soon fade. A spell of 18 Celsius (64.4F) weather is expected to hit the UK on April 26. That forecast is far higher than what is expected at this time of year.

The north, South West and the Midlands is predicted to see temperatures reach up to 15 Celsius (59F) throughout the month.

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