Sage scientist backs beach breaks

Beach breaks could be back on in the UK

By Emma Dodd

Going to the beach will be one of the safest activities to engage in once lockdown restrictions have eased, according to a government scientific adviser.

Professor Mark Woolhouse, an epidemiologist and Sage member, has reassured the public that there’s very little evidence of coronavirus transmission occurring outdoors.

Addressing a group of MPs yesterday (February 17th), he said trips to the beach should not be considered among the most risky types of mass gatherings.

Professor Woolhouse added: “There were no outbreaks linked to crowded beaches. There’s never been a Covid-19 outbreak linked to a beach ever anywhere in the world to the best of my knowledge.”

He went on to highlight the importance of identifying where the risks are and where they’re not, so as some activities can return to normal.

The news offers hope for anyone planning a beach staycation this summer, as hotspots like Cornwall, North Yorkshire and Gwynedd are expected to be in high demand.

Caravan holidays are considered among the safest ways to get away, as self-contained leisure vehicles cut down the need to use external or shared facilities.

Beaches have been the target for many police forces during the pandemic, as they’ve been concerned that people have not been able to maintain social distancing.

This was a particular problem during the good weather of the summer, when popular beaches like Bournemouth and Portobello were pictured bustling with visitors.

Professor Woolhouse said that beaches were safer than other outdoor locations, however, including horse racing events, where pinch points made it harder for people to keep apart.

So, are you planning a beach staycation for the summer? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter.