The UK’s highest March temperature in 53 years has been recorded – and with it came warnings from the police about sticking to COVID rules.
The record was broken in Kew Gardens, London, this afternoon where it reached 24.5C (76.1F), according to the Met Office.
It is the highest March temperature since 1968, when the heat reached 25.6C (78F) in Mepal, Cambridgeshire.
A dispersal order was put in place today in Nottingham after large crowds gathered in a city park on Monday.
Footage posted on social media captured a brawl, dozens of people drinking and ignoring social distancing rules, leaving behind large amounts of litter at Nottingham Arboretum.
City councillor David Mellen said alcohol would be seized from people entering parks from today.
And Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned the nation: "Don’t blow it."
In a tweet he said: "Let’s enjoy the sun but let’s do it safely. We have come so far, don’t blow it now."
In Northamptonshire, Superintendent Elliot Foskett, silver commander for the Force’s COVID-19 response, said: "We understand this marks an important step forward for the UK but it’s a transition point, not an end to regulations.
"We all need to continue to play our part and follow the rules through this next phase so that further lifting of restrictions can go ahead at the earliest dates as set out by the government."
In Cumbria police told dog walkers to keep control of their pets because it is lambing season and West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service warned people against trying to have barbeques in public.
The Metropolitan Police added to the caution with its tweet: "Easing of lockdown. Let’s take this next step safely."
At a Downing Street news briefing yesterday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson issued a similar warning.
He said he hoped Britons would take advantage of the "beautiful weather" to play sport or exercise but urged people to "proceed with caution".
"I know how much government has asked of the people in the last year, but I also know how magnificently – incredible
"That’s why I stress the importance of everybody maintaining the discipline people have shown for so long."
Temperatures increased by just under 20C in less than four hours in Santon Downham, west Suffolk, earlier today.
The village went from just 1.6C (34.9F) at 7am to 19C (66.2F) shortly before 11am.
Britain is expected to experience more unusually warm spring weather on Wednesday, when temperatures could break all time records and reach 25C (77C) in London and the South East.
And it should continue through to Thursday, Sky News forecasters say, but will be replaced by a cooler spell over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend.