Edinburgh public urged not to drive to favourite beaches and walks today as 17C predicted

Edinburgh residents have been urged not to drive to their favourite beaches and walking spots on Sunday when temperatures are expected to reach the mid to high teens in the Capital.

Sunday, 5th April 2020, 9:44 am
Updated Sunday, 5th April 2020, 9:45 am

Met Office spokeswoman Nicola Maxey said the mercury will reach 15C widely around Edinburgh and the Lothians with 17C possible in some “isolated spots”.

Edinburgh City Council leader Adam McVey said: “As the weekend approaches, I know a lot of us will want to get out for some fresh air and exercise, but we’d ask that you do that safely following the government guidance.

“I know that it’s frustrating not being able to drive to your favourite walk or beach, but we need to keep the heid. We’re all still needed to get behind the effort of the NHS and other key staff and give them our support during this difficult time. I know weekends feel a bit odd just now, but I hope everyone manages to have some time to relax indoors where they can and follow the essential guidance when they are outdoors.”

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People flocked to beaches and beauty spots, leading to council leader Adam McVey issuing a plea
People flocked to beaches and beauty spots, leading to council leader Adam McVey issuing a plea

The UK and Scottish governments have issued clear guidance saying people should only leave their homes for essential reasons – food, medicine and exericse once a day – and to stay more than 2 metres apart from each other when in public spaces.

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During the sunshine last weekend, many flocked to popular beach and walking spots like Cramond, Portobello and Harlaw Reservoir for some fresh air. Queues of people pictured at take-away coffee kiosks were among the examples of social distancing restrictions being breached – but this was before the Prime Minister tightened restrictions last Monday.

Various police forces have also stated that members of the public should not be driving somewhere with the intent of doing exercise or walking their dog – and with new powers granted to police to arrest those who ignore lockdown rules, it’s advisable to follow the rules. The Environment Department also stated that the public should “stay local and use open spaces near to your home where possible – do not travel unnecessarily”.

Warmer weather

Speaking to the Evening News on Wednesday, Met Office spokeswoman Nicola Maxey said that temperatures will “peak” across the UK on Sunday with highs of 20C expected in London and 15C expected widely on the east coast of Scotland.

She said temperatures could rise to 16C or 17C in “isolated spots” in and around Edinburgh with sunshine expected, but stressed this will depend on the amount of cloud cover.

The latest weather forecast from the Met Office shows that 17C is expected to hit the Capital at around 4pm today.

Ms Maxey said it will likely be cloudier in the west of Scotland but Glasgow could still reach 14C or 15C.

She said the warmest part of the country is likely to be up in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire with 17C possible.

Ms Maxey highlighted the latest government restrictions on leaving home and social distancing and advised people enjoy the weather as best they can in their gardens or in open spaces locally.

Speaking on Wednesday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “We have now had the first full week of what I will refer to as ‘lockdown measures’, so let me begin by thanking people across Scotland for complying with these rules. I know that the last 10 days have not been easy for anyone - indeed that is an understatement - but overwhelmingly people across the country have been doing the right thing.

“That is not unexpected, but it is heartening. And it will continue to be crucial in the weeks ahead. By staying at home except for essential purposes, all of us can play a part in slowing the spread of the virus, protecting the ability of the NHS to treat those who need it, and ultimately saving lives.”READ