Shoppers ignored repeated warnings to stay home as part of ongoing efforts to clamp down on coronavirus by heading to DIY stores.
People were seen heading to stores in parts of the country including Edinburgh, Swansea and York on Sunday as latest figures showed Britons are leaving home more and more amid hopes that lockdown restrictions could be lifted.
Data from Apple Maps showed that driving is up 4 per cent and walking has increased 5 per cent among Britons compared to last week.
The shoppers on Sunday were taking advantage of hot an dry conditions which has brought sunshine around the country this weekend, although wet weather is on the way.
Shoppers ignored repeated warnings to stay home as part of ongoing efforts to clamp down on coronavirus by heading to DIY stores
Shoppers were pictured carrying items including plant pots, buckets and even a lawn mower at one B&Q store in York
People looking to do home improvements were seen waiting in lengthy queues outside B&Q in Swansea and York.
Some pushed trolleys filled with rolls of carpet while others were seen lifting enormous products into their cars.
And in Derby at The Range, which sells essentials including food and toilet roll, as well as DIY items such as paint and furniture, shoppers were taking advantage of the lack of crowds.
Data from Apple Maps also showed that traffic congestion has surged from the start of the month and since the lockdown was announced.
Walking in London has picked up markedly in the last three days alone, according to Apple Map’s most recent ‘Covid-19 mobility trends’ data.
Dozens of others were seen in long queues as they held trolleys while waiting to go in a B&Q store in Swansea
Latest figures collected on Friday showed that driving is up 4 per cent and walking has increased 5 per cent among Britons compared to last week
Some pushed trolleys filled with rolls of carpet while others were seen lifting enormous products into their cars. Pictured: One shopper at B&Q in York
It appears there has been a sharp increase in human traffic as the number of people walking across the country rose by around 8 percentage points on April 23 from last Saturday.
The number of people walking, driving, and using public transport networks in the UK took a nosedive in early March, as concern about the spreading coronavirus outside of China – believed to be the country of its origin – intensified and gripped the nation. It plummeted on March 24 – the day after Boris Johnson declared a ‘stay-at-home’ order.
But newly released figures available on Apple Maps indicated the British public are growing restless of life under lockdown as many more take to the roads and the streets.
The shoppers at B&Q have taken no notice of please from politicians for them to stay home
They were seen in snaking queues at B&Q in Edinburgh, pictured above
Each weekend of April – between the 4th and the 18th – the number of people walking, driving, and ‘transiting’ steadily climbed, even as police forces across the country became tougher on rule-breakers.
Data from sat nav makers TomTom and the AA suggest there has been an increase in car trips around the UK this month.
Britain to be hit with weeks of rain from today as heatwave ends suddenly
Britain is facing a deluge of wet weather starting today as this week’s mini-heatwave – which saw many Britons flout the countrywide lockdown – comes to an abrupt end.
Forecaster say today will see cloudy skies and a risk of showers ‘breaking out almost anywhere’ and a likely high temperature of 73F (23C), dropping to 68F (20C) tomorrow and between 53-59F (12-15C) starting Tuesday.
More typical April weather will resume next week, with wet weather and much lower temperatures presenting a ‘marked change’ from the sunshine Britons have enjoyed in recent days, Met Office meteorologist Tom Morgan told MailOnline.
This weekend – the country’s fifth since lockdown started – saw hot, dry conditions encouraging housebound Britons to flout restrictions and enjoy the sunshine.
But the temptation to leave home will be considerably lower for many in the days to come, as bands of rain brought by the Atlantic lead to ‘cooler’ and more ‘unsettled’ weather.
A Met Office spokesperson said: ‘So far April has been a largely dry month. However, today we’ll have showers across parts of Scotland, then north and central England, Wales and possibly Northern Ireland.’
Meteorologist Marco Petagna said that ‘it might be welcome rain for some, after it’s been so dry’, but there would still be ‘some sunshine, even when things are unsettled’.
There are more motorists in London, Brighton and Hove, Bristol, Manchester, and Reading out and about this weekend than last week, according to TomTom.
B&Q is following steps taken by supermarkets by limiting the number of customers in its stores at any one time.
It has also installed screens at checkouts and put markers on shop floors to help with social distancing.
The shopping scenes come after Home Secretary Priti Patel warned Britons it was ‘imperative’ that they follow lockdown rules.
She warned that the country is ‘not out of danger yet’ as she thanked people for their ‘spirit of national unity’.
Police have already issued thousands of fines to people who have flouted lockdown rules, and the penalties could be increased after Ms Patel spoke on Friday to the National Police Chief’s Council.
On Sunday, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab blasted ‘irresponsible’ critics for demanding the UK government set out how it will ease the nation’s coronavirus lockdown.
Tory donors, Cabinet ministers and Sir Keir Starmer have all told Boris Johnson he must publish his strategy for loosening restrictions as the Prime Minister prepares to return to work tomorrow.
But Mr Raab slapped down those calls this morning as he said Britain is still at a ‘delicate and dangerous’ stage of the outbreak and the focus must remain on slowing the spread of the disease and reducing the number of deaths.
However, the Foreign Secretary, who has been standing in for Mr Johnson, did insist ministers are carrying out their ‘homework’ on how to lift rules in the future but he stressed ‘frankly it is not responsible to start speculating about the individual measures’.
Mr Johnson has been recuperating at Chequers since he was released from hospital on April 12 after his own intensive care battle with coronavirus but he has told allies he is now ‘raring to go’.
Shoppers filled trolleys with varying DIY items. One man, pictured above, pushed dozens of wooden planks to his car
The shoppers had to keep their distance from each other as they queued to get into B&Q in Edinburgh
The Government has issued new laws ordering people to stay at home and to only leave for exercise, to buy food, or to go to work, if they cannot work from home. Pictured: A shopper in York
Basket of goods: Shoppers pushed huge trolleys to put their DIY goods in
The PM will formally return to the frontline amid growing hostility over the government’s repeated refusal to publicly discuss how restrictions will be lifted.
Numerous Tory donors, including billionaires Peter Hargreaves and Michael Spencer, have today broken cover to tell the PM that the draconian measures must be loosened as soon as possible due to growing fears of lasting damage to the UK economy.
Three Cabinet ministers have briefed their own disquiet with some concerned that the British public have now had enough of the restrictions and cannot ‘take much more of this’.
Shoppers left their homes to take advantage of less busy stores amid the coronavirus lockdown. Pictured: Shoppers in Edinburgh
Some people wore protective clothing, including one couple who were wearing blue rubber gloves as they pulled a trolley holding various DIY items, as well as a potted plant
Meanwhile, Sir Keir, the Labour leader, has warned the premier the UK risks ‘falling behind the rest of the world’ in terms of setting out how life will be returned to something resembling normal.
Economists have also warned that a failure to get out of lockdown soon could result in Britain being the Western nation hardest hit by the virus.
The series of major interventions came after the UK’s coronavirus death toll hit 20,000.
Courtesy DAILY MAIL