Beaches packed on Bank Holiday as residents say it's down to ‘Cummings effect’

25 May 2020, 15:07

The beach in Bournemouth was packed as people soaked up Bank Holiday Monday sun
The beach in Bournemouth was packed as people soaked up Bank Holiday Monday sun. Picture: PA
Rachael Kennedy

By Rachael Kennedy

Residents living near packed beaches in England today referred to the “Cummings effect” as people flocked to the seaside on the sunny and warm bank holiday.

People were pictured sprawled across the beach in Bournemouth on Monday, with the local council warning seafront car parks had filled up, and advised people to stay at home.

Similar reports from locals in other seaside towns also flooded social media, suggesting reported behaviour from Boris Johnson's senior adviser Dominic Cummings, who is accused of flouting lockdown rules, had inspired others to relax restrictions themselves.

Bournemouth beach was packed amid the bank holiday sunshine
Bournemouth beach was packed amid the bank holiday sunshine. Picture: PA

Mel Shad, who says she lives across the road from the beach in Shoreham-by-Sea in West Sussex, said she had witnessed the “Cummings effect” on Monday after she was forced to cancel plans to sit by the coastline due to the amount of people who were already there.

READ MORE: Dominic Cummings to make public statement on accusations he broke lockdown

She wrote: “No going to the beach for us today even though we live just across the road from it.

“Can’t navigate safely out of the close or down the road due to the way (and number of) people who have parked.

“It’s usually quiet here. I’m going to christen it the Cummings effect.”

Meanwhile, Arthuria Mullard said she felt the “Cummings effect” had reached Swanpool Beach in Falmouth after driving past to find the “car park overflowing, hundreds of cars on surrounding roads, beach packed”.

She added: “Yesterday, same weather, few people on the beach.”

A Twitter user from Birkenhead, called Tom, said the beaches nearby to him only saw dog walkers and joggers during lockdown but were “full of families with picnics and sunbathers today.”

He added: “The #cummings effect.”

It comes after eyebrows were raised over the weekend as it was revealed Mr Cummings had driven hundreds of miles from London to Durham last month, despite the government's strict stay-at-home rules on COVID-19.

The prime minister has stood by his adviser - despite calls for his resignation - saying it was a reasonable action that any father would take when in need of childcare.

But this has led to further concerns that Mr Cummings' behaviour has undermined the official message.

"Acting on my instincts as a responsible father, I have decided I'm going to take my kids to the beach tomorrow," quipped one Leeds-based Twitter user on Sunday.

He added: "This is to help their mental well-being after ten weeks being stuck in the house obeying instructions from #cummings."

Amid increasing calls for Mr Cummings to step back from his role, the senior adviser is planning to make a rare public address later today, followed by some questions on his conduct.