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Doctor defends people breaking coronavirus lockdown laws: ‘I have some sympathy for the sunbathers’


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A doctor has defended the members of the public who ignored coronavirus lockdown laws this weekend to catch some rays during Monday night’s The One Show.

Dr. Xand van Tulleken gave his opinion on the topic after TV host Alex Jones explained how her local park was ‘rammed’ with sunbathers.

‘On the weekend I drove past our park and it was rammed,’ she ranted.

‘The theory I have got is that all these people who maybe didn’t exercise before have decided that this is the time which is a good thing.’

‘But everyone is hitting the park at the same time and there were not two metres between people,’ the presented added.

Dr. Xand went on to explain that he thinks some people are confused by the government’s guidelines.

Dr Xand defended those who were sunbathing at the weekend (Picture: BBC METROGRAB)

‘ I have some sympathy for the sunbathers because the people that went to the park found a bit of grass that was away from everyone else and said “I am going to spend my hour in the sun” and they weren’t spreading the virus to other people.

‘I think in their heads they’re a bit confused. The guidelines say natural sunlight is important why it is bad to go and sit in the park.’

Alex Jones was outraged after spotting people sunbathing in her local park (Picture: BBC)

He continued: ‘I don’t think public health has explained clearly that exercise is important but sunbathing is not important enough to leave the house.’

Following the interview some of The One Show viewers took to social media to question why the doctor was defending the sunbathers.

One tweeted: ‘Who is this on #theoneshow – defending the moronic sunbathers?’

Another commented: ‘That doctor got it so wrong. Sunbathing in a park is NOT exercising, and the rules are VERY clear. No amount of back tracking going to make what you said right. And why should Boris be treated differently in an NHS hospital that the rest of us?’

Police move on sunbathers at Primrose Hill (Pics: EMPICS Entertainment)

One viewer said: ‘Strongly disagree with the claim that Public Health hasn’t been clear enough – what’s not clear about only leaving the house when absolutely necessary for work, exercise or essential shopping?’

Dr. Xand has since taken to Twitter to defend his comments as he tweeted: ‘I did say I wasn’t in favour of sitting in a park. I think it has taken many people a while to adapt to a large change in their lives and I think an attitude of generosity is more helpful for behaviour change than being angry and judgemental.’

Over the weekend, Lambeth council closed Brockwell Park after police moved hundreds of people exercising on the lawn and groups topping up their tans in the hottest weekend of the year so far. 

In turn, Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned all outdoor exercise could be completely banned if people continue to flout social distancing rules. 

So far, coronavirus has claimed the lives of 4,934 people in the UK, with a total of 47,806 people having tested positive for Covid-19. 

The One Show airs at 7pm on BBC One.

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