SUNBATHERS have come under fire for flouting the lockdown and flocking to a Hampshire beach.

Photographs posted on social media show a long line of vehicles parked bumper-to-bumper along the seafront at Lepe Beach.

The car park at the base of the cliffs is closed so drivers used the seafront road - ignoring the double yellow lines.

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They chose to disregard the government's 'stay at home' message despite warnings that the Covid-19 pandemic is far from over. Experts are warning that Britain could be hit by a second peak, especially if social distancing rules are not observed.

A woman whose elderly parents live at Lepe said: "It was horrendous - there must have been 30 cars down there yesterday.

"The car parks were closed but people were parking on double yellow lines and blatantly carrying picnic baskets.

"No-one seems to be monitoring it. My parents have contacted the police but they just say they can't respond to all the complaints."

The large number of people who went to Lepe has sparked an angry reaction on social media.

One person posted: "They are asking for an apocalyptic world if they carry on like that."

Another added: "I would like nothing more than to get into the car and go somewhere but I won't.

"This is no normal flu, it can kill in a horrible way. Yes it's boring at home and the sun is out, but don't put the NHS through hell anymore."

A large number of people also flocked to other parts of the New Forest, including Hatchet Pond, near Beaulieu.

New Milton Cops posted: "New Milton and Lymington PCSOs attended after we received a report from the Forestry Commission of multiple Covid breaches.

"People were reportedly having picnics, BBQs and paddle-boarding in the pond throughout the day.

"We will be working with the Forestry Commission to prevent this from continuing. It is not reasonable for such a high volume of people to park in the road and frequent the area as if it were a holiday."

Hampshire police have been contacted for comment.