coronavirus

Sunny weather tempts Europe; UK queen urges self-discipline

Coronavirus
Queen Elizabeth II (Photo_ AP)_347685

LONDON (AP) — As warm, sunny weather beckoned across Europe, Queen Elizabeth II appealed to Britons on Sunday to exercise self-discipline in “an increasingly challenging time” as the country saw a record 24-hour jump in coronavirus deaths that even outpaced the daily toll in hard-hit Italy.

Britain recorded 708 new coronavirus deaths, bringing its overall toll to 4,313 as infections rose past 42,000, while Italy reported 631 deaths. Those coming down with the virus in the U.K. include Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the health secretary, England’s chief medical official and Prince Charles, heir to the British throne.

There are wide fears that Johnson’s Conservative government did not take the virus seriously enough at first and that lovely weather will tempt Britons and others to break social distancing rules.

In an address to the nation to be televised later Sunday, the 93-year-old queen said the pandemic had caused enormous disruptions, bringing grief, financial difficulties and daunting challenges to everybody. It was only the fourth time since her reign began in 1953 that she has given such an address.

“I hope in the years to come everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge,” she said in pre-released remarks. “And those who come after us will say that the Britons of this generation were as strong as any.”

The queen’s son, Charles, on Friday remotely opened a vast temporary hospital for corona patients in a London convention center after completing a week of isolation. Johnson as of Friday still had a fever but his infected pregnant fiancee, Carrie Symonds, tweeted she is “on the mend” after a week in bed.

As the sun shone and the temperatures rose toward 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit), Health Secretary Matt Hancock said sunbathing in public places was not allowed and the U.K. might even ban outdoor exercise if people still ’’flout the rules.″

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