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Authorities issue social distancing 'complacency' plea

Police and council staff in North Tyneside are out and about today in an effort to drive home the government's coronavirus measures.

And they have urged people "not to get complacent".

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Beach quiet amid 'stay at home' warning

Simon Armstrong

BBC News

Sun-seekers in North Tyneside appear to have followed government advice to stay at home.

This picture was taken at Tynemouth's Longsands beach earlier and shows a largely deserted shoreline below the crisp blue sky.

However, a number of surfers did take to the water.

A solitary dog walker on Tynemouth Longsands beach on North Tyneside
PA Media

Northumbria Police officers have been patrolling the town's streets on horseback as officials try to drive home the message for people to stay at home to help slow the spread of Covid-19.

Two Northumbria Police officers on horseback in Tynemouth
PA Media

Car parks closed as visitors urged to stay away

Simon Armstrong

BBC News

All council-run park and seafront car parks in Sunderland have been shut as the authority bids to deter visitors during the coronavirus outbreak.

The closures, which will be in place for the "foreseeable future", come amid fears people will travel to beauty spots this weekend and over Easter with warm weather and sunshine anticipated.

Fiona Brown, from Sunderland City Council, said: "Our parks and beaches all remain open, but we are taking this action to discourage people from travelling to them by car in line with government advice that people should not be making unnecessary journeys.

"Although most residents have been acting very responsibly, there have been issues with a large number of people driving to parks and the city’s beaches.

"We have also had reports that some children have been using the play areas, which no-one should be doing at the moment because all play areas are currently closed due to the need for social distancing to minimise the risk of the virus spreading."

A "car park closed" sign at the Harbour View car park at Roker, Sunderland
Sunderland City Council

Traffic-free Tyne Bridge 'shows community spirit'

Simon Armstrong

BBC News

Tyne Bridge with no traffic
Northumbria Police

Police in the North East have reiterated calls for people to stay at home this weekend in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus.

This picture, taken by Northumbria Police on Friday, shows a traffic-free Tyne Bridge.

The iconic structure linking Newcastle and Gateshead would normally be busy with vehicles.

The force said: "It’s a very different scene to what we are used to, but actually it is a picture of the incredible community spirit we have here.

"For that we want to thank you. Thank you for staying at home, thank you for working with us and thank you for saving lives."