People are furious after pictures showed surfers flouting social distancing and taking to the waves at a Newquay beach during the coronavirus lockdown
Next week, the government is due to carry out its first review of the draconian lockdown measures introduced two-and-a-half weeks ago.
But as the Easter weekend approaches, dozens of people were pictured in the sea at Fistral Beach in Newquay on Thursday - in defiance of the social distancing measures.
Surfing has been officially banned in countries such as Portugal, Spain and Italy – but no direct legislation has been brought in for the UK.
Members of the surfing community claim they are entitled to be out on the water as part of their permitted daily exercise.
However, there are concerns the nature of surfing and the numbers involved are making it virtually impossible to observe the necessary social distancing.
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Stunned on-lookers said the scene in the sea and around Newquay town was no different to what they would normally expect to see on a sunny day.
One said: "I could not believe it. Walking around Newquay there were people everywhere dressed in wet-suits and holding surfboards.
"You wouldn't have thought there was a pandemic. It feels more like a hot sunny day.
"Although there wasn't many people on the beach sunbathing, I was shocked by the numbers that were in the water.
"Although some are social distancing, it is very difficult to know when riding a wave who is near you, or who you might bump into."
Tourism bosses and locals have repeatedly pleaded with both holidaymakers and second home owners to stay away from Cornwall during the Easter Holidays.
On Thursday, Downing Street assured tougher coronavirus lockdown measures would not be enforced as the government reviews existing measures in a Cobra meeting.
Boris Johnson’s official spokesman said on Thursday that the government’s focus remains on ensuring people abide by the measures that are “already in place”.
Coronavirus deaths in England have risen to 7,248, an increase of 765 from Wednesday’s reported total of 6,483, when the UK experienced 938 deaths in UK hospitals in just 24 hours.
Wednesday’s figure represented the highest daily number since the outbreak began.
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