More warnings issued about non-essential journeys

Traffic level data released by the AA has shown that "breakdowns have increased by about 20% this week and traffic seems to be 10% higher than under earlier lockdown conditions".

It's prompted the AA president to remind motorists only to travel if it is essential as figures show more drivers have been "venturing out in their cars".

“Most drivers are still following Government advice to only make essential journeys by car, however, this week we have seen traffic and breakdowns creeping back up.

Edmund King, AA president

Footage of a Monday traffic jam has emerged from Stoke-on-Trent this morning.

The city council says roads which were empty a week ago, have started getting busy.

AA bosses have urged people to "cut out non-essential travel as one crash can tie up the emergency services for hours".

Mr King added that travel may "result in a precious NHS hospital bed being taken."

It comes as Prime minister Boris Johnson said the UK was beginning to "turn the tide" against coronavirus, but there would be no changes to the lockdown.

Mr Johnson said he "refused to throw away the sacrifice of the British public" by lifting the restrictions too early.

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AA has been rescuing NHS workers free of charge to help them get to and from jobs.

Mr King said: " More NHS staff are using cars due to reductions in public transport, safety concerns and longer hours and shifts. The NHS are always there for us so we are happy to be there for them.”

As of Sunday, the UK had recorded 20,732 Covid-19 fatalities, however that figure only takes in deaths which have occurred in hospitals and it is thought thousands more will have died in settings in the community, such as care homes.

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