Nick Abbot 12am - 1am
Police issue Covid warning as Britain set to bask in 26C heat
20 September 2020, 07:06 | Updated: 20 September 2020, 07:39
Britons are set to bask in 26C temperatures to finish the weekend, as police forces around the country continue to warn people to comply with coronavirus restrictions.
People flocked to parks and beaches on Saturday to make the most of the warm and sunny weather, with the mercury reaching 25.2C (77.36F) at Heathrow in the early afternoon.
Sunday is expected to see slightly hotter temperatures, with police officers urging sunseekers not to gather in groups of more than six people.
London and the South East will see the best of the weather, with the mercury hitting just over 26C (78.8F), while Scotland will see 21C (69.8F).
The North West is forecast to see highs of 21C (69.8F) on Sunday, while parts of the North East, such as Newcastle, sitting at around 19C (66.2F).
John Griffiths, a forecaster at the Met Office, said: "The day will start dry for most areas, with some parts of north east England and Scotland seeing cloud during the morning.
"However as the day breaks it will be hot for many with plenty of sunshine going into the afternoon.
"There could be spells of rain in the south west in places such as Cornwall but they should only be temporary."
Mr Griffiths said this was due to high pressure and "warm air" moving up from southern Europe.
The sunshine will test people's resolve, knowing a social gathering of more than six people indoors or outdoors in England is against the law, and could lead to fines of up to £3,200.
Assistant chief constable Claire Nix, of Kent Police, said there would be an increased presence in "key areas" around the county, as Covid-19 remains a "real and deadly threat".
The Metropolitan Police urged Londoners to "continue to act responsibly" amid forecasts of warm weather for the capital over the weekend.
The force said it will continue to patrol public spaces and respond to incidents where groups of more than six are gathering, reminding the public of fines for breaching coronavirus guidelines.
Forces in Dorset, where large crowds have previously flocked to the beaches to enjoy the heat, also warned that anyone flouting the new "rule of six" over the weekend may be subject to fines.