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The crackdown may get tougher: As UK's coronavirus death toll jumps by 181 in a single day, even stricter social distancing measures may be put in place, warn Government advisers

The crackdown may get tougher: As UK's coronavirus death toll jumps by 181 in a single day, even stricter social distancing measures may be put in place, warn Government advisers
  • London hospitals recorded the highest number of new deaths at 54, followed by 19 at those in West Midlands
  • Public should leave home only to shop for groceries, medical care, travel to work or exercise - just once a day
  • Senior government adviser suggests figures will rise further in coming days, with peak likely to hit at Easter
  • It comes as people continue to flout lockdown rules around the country, with new powers becoming available
  • North Wales Police set up a Covid-19 checkpoint and has turned away English people arriving for a 'holiday'
  • Beaches and parks still have daily visitors up and down the UK, despite the repeated warnings to stay home
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
Britain's coronavirus death toll surged by 181 yesterday as Government advisers warned that even stricter social distancing measures could be on the way. It is by far the biggest daily increase and means the disease has claimed 759 lives, including young and previously healthy people. 
Government advisers said stricter social distancing policies may have to be rolled out next month if the grim figures continued to rise. The measures would be introduced in three weeks as the outbreak reached its peak to further reduce 'person-to-person interaction'.  
This week France announced that individuals could only exercise alone – unless with children – for a maximum of an hour and within 1,000 yards of their homes. Spain and Italy have banned exercise altogether, and there are concerns that Britons are deliberately misinterpreting the guidance by travelling to beauty spots miles from their homes.
Members of the public exercising closely with a personal trainer at Paddington Recreation Ground in London, during a lockdown over the spread of COVID-19. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that people should only leave their homes for essential work, groceries, medical necessity and exercise
Members of the public exercising closely with a personal trainer at Paddington Recreation Ground in London, during a lockdown over the spread of COVID-19. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that people should only leave their homes for essential work, groceries, medical necessity and exercise
People exercise in the early morning sun at Hyde Park in central London, during a lockdown over the spread of COVID-19
People exercise in the early morning sun at Hyde Park in central London, during a lockdown over the spread of COVID-19
The Lake District (pictured today) has been closed to prevent visitors flooding to the area, thought to be the first time ever done, as the nationwide lockdown continues due to the coronavirus outbreak
The Lake District (pictured today) has been closed to prevent visitors flooding to the area, thought to be the first time ever done, as the nationwide lockdown continues due to the coronavirus outbr
Ambulance staff and health workers outside the ExCel Center in London. The NHS is anticipating a Coronavirus 'tsunami' as the peak of infarction rates nears
Ambulance staff and health workers outside the ExCel Center in London. The NHS is anticipating a Coronavirus 'tsunami' as the peak of infarction rates nears
Ambulances are seen outside the Excel Centre, London today while it is being prepared to become the NHS Nightingale Hospital as the spread of the coronavirus disease
Ambulances are seen outside the Excel Centre, London today while it is being prepared to become the NHS Nightingale Hospital as the spread of the coronavirus disease
Medical equipment is seen outside the Excel Centre, London today while it is being prepared to become the NHS Nightingale Hospital as the spread of the coronavirus disease continues
Medical equipment is seen outside the Excel Centre, London today while it is being prepared to become the NHS Nightingale Hospital as the spread of the coronavirus disease continues
A paramedic sets up medical equipment outside the Excel Centre, London while it is being prepared to become the NHS Nightingale Hospital
A paramedic sets up medical equipment outside the Excel Centre, London while it is being prepared to become the NHS Nightingale Hospital

A senior government adviser suggested the figures would continue to rise for at least the next three weeks, meaning the peak is likely to hit at Easter. The adviser said hospitals 'should be OK', but admitted 'we can't guarantee it' and stressed some intensive care units may struggle to cope. 
Yesterday's figures show that London hospitals recorded the highest number of new deaths at 54, followed by West Midlands hospitals with 19. But these numbers do not include patients who die at home or in care homes, meaning the true number may be higher. 
And should the number of deaths rise significantly, 'greater enforcement' of social distancing policies would have to be introduced. This would include 'anything that can be done to push it (down) further' and prevent people catching the disease. 
The adviser added: 'I expect death numbers to increase over two, three or four weeks, and then to gradually decrease.' Officials were generally 'very happy' with the levels of compliance with social distancing guidance, despite some Britons travelling some distance to beauty spots in the Peak District and Yorkshire Dales to exercise. 
The advice says the public should leave their house only to shop for groceries, provide or receive medical care, travel to work or exercise, which is limited to once a day. The total number of confirmed cases in the UK now stands at 14,543, up from 11,658. But this is a huge underestimate of the true figure as most patients with the virus are not being tested. 
Professor Jim Naismith, an expert in structural biology at Oxford University, said: 'Although Covid-19 is a mild disease for over 80 per cent of us, today's deaths will have come as a terrible blow to families. The increase in the deaths are following the exponential pattern predicted. 
This means we are likely to continue to see further increases in the numbers of daily deaths until social distancing measures have their effect. 'The deaths tomorrow and in the days ahead will be of people who were infected before the social distancing measures were implemented. 
I understand the temptation to live on each day's numbers, but what matters is what is ahead of us and what we can do to save lives.' Dr Mike Tildesley, of the University of Warwick, added: 'We may expect to see the number of daily confirmed cases continue to climb, before starting to decline once the current social distancing measures start to have an effect.' 
In other coronavirus developments today: 
  • Police chiefs want Britons to snitch on any neighbours they suspect of breaching the coronavirus lockdown  
  • Humberside, West Midlands, Greater Manchester, and Avon and Somerset have created a mixture of 'hotlines' and 'online portals' where people can submit tip-offs if lockdown infractions occur
  • Images from inside ExCeL Centre show construction work to transform the exhibition centre into a  hospital
  • Andy Burnham has said that hundreds of firms in Manchester have remained open 'without good reason'
  • Workers who have not taken a holiday because of the crisis will be able to carry it over into the next two years
  • NHS staff to be tested for coronavirus from next week at places including Chessington World of Adventures
  • The coronavirus social distancing limit is four times too short, Massachusetts Institute of Technology warned 
Members of the public jogging in Regents Park in London, during a lockdown over the spread of COVID-19. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that people should only leave their homes for essential work, groceries, medical necessity and exercise
Members of the public jogging in Regents Park in London, during a lockdown over the spread of COVID-19. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that people should only leave their homes for essential work, groceries, medical necessity and exercise
An elderly woman wears a mask as a precautionary measure against covid-19, as people take their daily exercise in Battersea Park in London
An elderly woman wears a mask as a precautionary measure against covid-19, as people take their daily exercise in Battersea Park in London
People walk and jog to get their daily exercise allowance in Battersea Park in London today as part of their daily exercise

The first NHS workers to be tested at the drive facility in Surrey NHS testing centre being built at Chessington world of adventures in Surrey

A marketplace operates an entry system in Grantham, Lincolnshire as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus

A police officer talks to a cyclist at Regents Park in London, during a lockdown over the spread of COVID-19. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that people should only leave their homes for essential work, groceries, medical necessity and exercise
Doctors and nurses have begged people to stay indoors during the coronavirus pandemic, pleading with people to stay at home and save lives. 
But sun-seekers were seemingly oblivious today as they soaked up the rays in Southsea, Bournemouth and Somerset. 
The Prime Minister has stressed that unless you are a key worker or helping someone vulnerable, the only reasons to go outside are to go shopping for essentials, exercise once a day or fulfil any medical needs.down the country exercise their new powers to enforce the coronavirus lockdown - stopping people having picnics and dog walkers in the Peak District by chasing them with drones. 
Police chiefs are encouraging Britons to snitch on neighbours suspected of breaching Boris Johnson's coronavirus lockdown.
Humberside Police have created a 'hotline' where people can submit tip-offs if they flout social distancing rules, including gatherings of more than two people.
West Midlands, Greater Manchester, and Avon and Somerset have also established online forums for 'snoopers' keen to punish rule-breakers.
The portals have been made in response to an increase in the number of calls to the non-emergency 101 number since Monday.   
Despite this, forces yesterday were facing accusations of being overzealous as they use the sweeping new powers to crack down on people flouting the rules, using road blocks, drones and helicopters to enforce it.
Equipment being setup at the ExCel centre in London which is being made into a temporary hospital - the NHS Nightingale hospital, comprising of two wards, each of 2,000 people, to help tackle coronavirus
The military and contractors build the Nightingale Hospital at the Excel in London for Covid-19 patients
Shoppers keep their distance as they wait for a Tesco store to open in Leatherhead, Surrey. The Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Matt Hancock have tested positive for the virus and are now self isolating
A Sussex Police patrol car moves amongst people walking along the promenade in Brighton as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus
e Met Police today fined a bakery boss £80 for criminal damage after she put temporary lines outside her shop to keep her customers safe from coronavirus.
The extraordinary incident took place outside the Grodzinski bakery in Edgware, north-west London, this morning, when police spotted the owner using a can of non-permanent spray chalk to help maintain social distancing of two metres. 
The officer told the flabbergasted woman that she had graffitied the pavement and if police failed to punish crimes like these there would be 'anarchy', adding: 'I can't help the law. We're also fining people for congregating - is that wrong too?'.
The woman, who gives her name as Gemma, confronts the officer and says: 'This is not graffiti, it's chalk, it washes off. So you would rather all my customers don't stand two metres apart? I'm doing it for people's safety - to stop the spread of coronavirus', to which the officer replies: 'It doesn't matter. It's criminal damage. It's the law'.
The officer then tells her she needs to wash it off or she 'will be committing another offence', and she says to protect her customers she will happily 'get another ticket, and another ticket and another ticket. I don't care'. 
A witness who filmed the incident told the policeman: 'People are dying and this is what you care about, this is ridiculous, this is horrendous' and the officer replies: 'The law doesn't stop unfortunately. It's still a criminal offence. The law is the law and it doesn't change because of what is happening. There would be anarchy in the world'.    And a council is facing a furious backlash today after targeting members of the public with drones, as lawyers warned that police are 'unlawfully' trying to restrict people travelling to isolated spots to exercise and walk their dogs.  Members of the public walk in Regents Park in London, during a lockdown over the spread of COVID-19. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that people should only leave their homes for essential work, groceries, medical necessity and exercise
A mostly empty marketplace in Grantham, Lincolnshire as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus
Members of the public walk in Regents Park in London, during a lockdown over the spread of coronavirus
The first NHS workers to be tested at the drive facility in Surrey NHS testing centre being built at Chessington world of adventures in Surrey. The theme parks car parks are now being used as a drive through testing centre
Police patrol the beach on March 28, 2020 in Bournemouth, United Kingdom. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming more than 25,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more
A family sit on the beach in Brighton as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus
Police talk to people in the town centre gardens today in Bournemouth, United Kingdom
A man wears a mask during a walk as Sussex Police patrol the promenade in Brighton as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus
As the row intensified today, Leading QC Matthew Ryder said there was an 'overwhelming consensus from lawyers that police trying to restrict people to 'emergency travel only' is unlawful'
As the row intensified today, Leading QC Matthew Ryder said there was an 'overwhelming consensus from lawyers that police trying to restrict people to 'emergency travel only' is unlawful'
er members of the public to go home, leave an area, and have the power to disperse a group, using 'reasonable force, if necessary'.
Police can also take steps to make sure parents are stopping their children from breaking the rules.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said the powers were designed to 'protect the public and keep people safe'.
According to the guidance, the cost of initial fixed penalty notices will be cut to £30 if paid within 14 days and those who do not pay could be taken to court and risk facing costs for unlimited fines.
Refusing to provide a name and address to avoid being given a fine is an arrestable offence. 
Known as the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020, similar rules will be in place across Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.
The regulations state they are made 'in response to the serious and imminent threat to public health' posed by Covid-19 and the Government considers the 'restrictions and requirements imposed by these regulations are proportionate to what they seek to achieve'.

Poll finds 11% of Britons are still going to crowded public spaces and 10% are visiting friends 

A survey for ITV's Peston programme found millions of people are not complying with the government's lockdown measures
A survey for ITV's Peston programme found millions of people are not complying with the government's lockdown measures
A shock poll conducted for ITV's Peston this week found 7 per cent of Britons are still going out to see friends, 8 per cent are doing 'non-essential shopping' and 5 percent have not started washing their hands more.
The survey also showed 6 per cent are continuing to hug others and shake hands, despite warnings this will spread the deadly virus which has already claimed 463 lives in Britain with 9,500 people now having tested positive.
Some 11 per cent of people are still going to public places while 33 per cent are stockpiling and ignoring pleas from supermarkets to save goods for the elderly, vulnerable and NHS workers.
A further 8 per cent (5.8 million) are continuing to shop for goods when not absolutely necessary and 7 per cent are meeting people outside of the immediate family they are living with, according to the JL Partners survey.
It also revealed that some 5 per cent of people - or 2.6million of the population - are still not washing their hands more than usual, or for longer than usual.
Some 34 per cent of people still going shopping and seeing friends claim they are doing it 'safely', while 14 per cent claim the risk of coronavirus is being 'exaggerated' and 7 per cent refuse to abandon their daily habits because the Government 'hasn't ruled it out'.
Those refusing to comply by the Government advice are generally young males while 15 per cent steadfastly say 'we can't let the virus defeat us'. 

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