Seaside trips during Coronavirus crisis a 'recipe for disaster' which could force 'full lockdown'

Public gatherings in places like Saltburn are a recipe for disaster allowing coronavirus to spread like wildfireSaltburn was packed over the weekend.

On Sunday I answered many of your Coronavirus questions during a special Facebook Live session.

During the event I stressed that if Teessiders continually flout the rules on social distancing, as we saw in Saltburn this weekend, it could result in the Government ordering a complete social lockdown.

As I said on Sunday, and as reported by Teesside Live, it is simply not right to congregate in large crowds where the virus is just going to spread like wildfire.

If you're going out, go out on your own or in a small family group and go to genuinely open spaces.

Don't just mix in areas like Saltburn Pier - it is a recipe, I'm afraid, for disaster.

If you're in the park, particular advice for parents of children is avoid playgrounds. The virus can live on exposed surfaces for many hours.

Slides, swings, these sorts of places are areas you need to avoid.

The Prime Minister was clear in his press conference earlier this evening that if we don't do this, if we're not responsible about how we look after ourselves and others in public spaces, then we are going to look at more draconian measures including a full social lockdown.

We don't want to end up in that space but that is, I'm afraid, where this will inevitably end up if we can't take greater responsibility.

We obviously want as a Government to maintain freedom, that is one of the animating reasons why I'm in politics - I believe in personal freedom.

But if we can't use it responsibly then the Government will have to take more drastic steps at this extraordinary moment.

This is not a game. To those people who think this is just another passing story - it isn't - it will probably prove to be one of the defining events of all of our lives.

And if it isn't to become a terrible tragedy then we all of us need to take responsibility so that we can help the NHS to get this back under control.

Take action now. Help us to help our country to move forward and we will then get through to better days ahead.

There is no question that this will pass - all things pass - but what we need now is our collective effort to make certain that the United Kingdom, and indeed our community of Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, comes through in good shape, safe and together.

For the latest up-to-date advice on Coronavirus, visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus