Brits urged to stay at home this weekend despite good weather to slow spread of coronavirus
Boris Johnson has urged the public to follow government guidelines (PA)
Ministers and medical experts have joined forces to urge British people to ignore the weather and stay at home to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Weather forecasters are predicting the highest temperatures of the year so far over the next 48 hours.
It comes nearly two weeks into a nationwide lockdown in which the Government has urged people to only go out to buy essentials such as food and medicine, or to exercise once a day.
The restrictions will stay in place until at least the middle of April, when ministers will review how successful they have been.
In a video message, Boris Johnson - who remains in self-isolation after contracting the virus - said now was not the time to ease off.
He said: "I just wanted to say one crucial thing, one quick thing to everybody thinking about this weekend, and what may be some fine weather.
“Because I reckon a lot of people will be starting to think that this is all going on for quite a long time and they’d rather be getting out there.
“And particularly if they’ve got kids in the household, everybody may be getting a bit stir crazy, and there may be just a temptation to get out there, hang out and start to break the regulations.”
“And I just urge you not to do that. Please, please stick with the guidance now."
He added: “This country has made a huge effort, a huge sacrifice, done absolutely brilliantly well in delaying the spread of the virus. Let’s stick with it now.
“Remember that incredible clapping again last night for our fantastic NHS. We’re doing it to protect them, and to save lives.
“Let’s focus on doing everything we can. Stay at home folks, protect our NHS, save lives."
Reiterating the PM's comments, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the Government guidance was an "instruction" and not a "request".
He said: "This remains a dangerous time. It remains vitally important that people continue to stay at home and practice the social distancing that we have asked of them - even this weekend as the weather turns warmer.
"This is a serious battle, we need to keep fighting it."
Ruth May, the UK's chief nurse, also urged people to stick to the Government guidelines, pointing to the deaths from coronavirus of two NHS nurses - Areema Nasreen and Aimee O'Rourke.
She said: "This weekend is going to be very warm and it is very tempting to go out and enjoy those summer rays.
"But please I ask you to remember Amiee and Areema. Please stay at home for them."