YESTERDAY, as worldwide cases of coronavirus passed five million and another 338 people were announced as having died of COVID-19 in the UK, local councils joined forces in a united message to the public.

Barrow Borough Council and our nearby neighbours from South Lakeland District Council and Lancaster City Council all preside over beaches or open spaces which are usually magnets for crowds during hot weather.

And with sunshine forecast across the entire region this coming Bank Holiday Monday, they know the temptation to get outside and enjoy the scenery will be too much for some.

A role of a local authority is usually to promote its area and entice tourists, but now the message is the complete opposite and we can understand why.

Although infection and death rates have come down, it is still too soon for complacency.

Most people continue to follow guidelines and respect the rules when they go out. But there remains a minority who act without respect for others or think we are out of the woods.

The statistics show that we are not.

According to government guidelines, day trips to outdoor open space are permitted in a private vehicle as long as you socially distance once you get there.

But if you do plan on a journey this weekend, please avoid crowds, don't stay overnight and don't do anything that risks adding to the numbers above.