Alarm as crowds flock to European beaches


A surge in visitors to beaches in northern Europe after coronavirus lockdowns were eased and temperatures rose has alarmed officials and experts. Three towns in north-western France shut their beaches on Wednesday because of the “unacceptable” failure of people to observe social-distancing rules.

Municipalities in the Netherlands urged German tourists not to visit. And in England, the town council in Southend said it might take action after sunseekers flocked there. The number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 around the world has now passed five million, but the number of new infections has been falling across most of Europe.

European countries had reported 1.74 million cases and 164,349 deaths as of Wednesday, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Those with the most fatalities are the UK, Italy, France, Spain and Belgium. The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that there is “still a long way to go in this pandemic”, and called on people in countries where restrictions are being eased to continue to adapt their behaviour to minimise transmission of Covid-19.(BBC)…[+]