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UK heatwave: Country set to bask in temperatures hotter than Ibiza
22 June 2020, 13:54
A heatwave is expected to hit the UK in the coming days, with scorching temperatures expected to make the country hotter than Ibiza.
After a mild start on Monday, Britain is set to bask in Mediterranean temperatures, with London reaching around 30C, two degrees hotter than the forecast for Ibiza.
This would also set a new record for the year. May 20 was the hottest day of 2020 so far, when the mercury reached 28.2C at Santon Downham in Suffolk.
It also beats the previous record set just the day before when St James's Park in London recorded a high of 26.2C.
The Met Office has forecast a north-south split from Monday, with temperatures reaching the mid-20s in the South of England and mid-teens in Scotland.
Daytime showers are also forecast for northern Scotland and Ireland, but these should die out by Monday evening.
Met Office meteorologist Emma Salter said temperatures will "build day on day" across the country and by Wednesday the mercury is set to hit 30C (86F).
With dry and sunny weather expected and the Government's Covid-19 alert level lowered to three, emergency services across the country are urging people to continue to respect the two-metre social distancing restriction.
Last month, new social distancing measures were introduced in England allowing groups of up to six people to meet and exercise outdoors together as long as they observe social distancing rules, such as staying two metres apart.
On the hot weekend following this, beaches across the country were packed as sunbathers turned out in their thousands to bask in the hot weather.
On Bournemouth beach in Dorset, pictures and videos show large groups of people seemingly disregarding social distancing measures put in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
In Southend-on-Sea in Essex, families and friends were seen gathering along a crowded beach despite the public being reminded to continue following social distancing rules following the relaxation of lockdown restrictions.
People with elderly relatives have also been told to make sure they are finding a way to keep cool during the lockdown, Age UK has warned.
The charity's director, Caroline Abrahams, said older people are more susceptible to heat-related illness.
"Lockdown and shielding bring added complications as it can be harder to spot someone who may be getting into difficulties and in need of extra help," she said.
"There are so many different ways to get in touch during the pandemic, whether it's a note through the door, picking up the phone, or, for those online, messaging via social media or chatting by video message like Face Time or Skype.
"The important thing is keeping in touch and to make sure older people are OK."
The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and Water UK have also urged gardeners to minimise water use as supplies are expected to be depleted.
RHS water management specialist Janet Manning encouraged gardeners to install a water butt to harvest rainwater, switch to tending to their plants using a watering can rather than a hose in the morning as demand peaks later on, and avoid watering their whole lawn.
The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) has also warned against starting campfires which can easily get out of control, and to call 999 immediately if you spot a fire.
The NFCC said: "The weather is forecast to improve and, although we've had our fair share of rain recently, the risk of wildfires remains.
"These fires are often preventable, so if you are enjoying the countryside please be wildfire-aware and look out for our advice."
However, there could be a change later in the week as meteorologists are unsure how long the heatwave will last, with the potential for thunderstorms on Friday.