A HEATWAVE has made its way to the UK, with thousands expected to descend on Dorset over the weekend as the mercury rises to 31C.

Temperatures are expected to reach a scorching 37C in some parts of the country, with councils and emergency services bracing themselves for an influx of visitors travelling to the coast to bask in the sunshine at the seaside.

Dorset and BCP Councils are working closely with emergency services to ensure visitors and residents stay as safe as possible over the weekend, whilst health workers are warning people to remain safe an vigilant amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Councillor Spencer Flower, Leader of Dorset Council said: "It’s important that as people enjoy Dorset this weekend, they do so safely. Thankfully we are welcoming back visitors in good numbers now, but we all need to play our part to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 while out and about in Dorset.

"I’m confident that the plans we have with our partners will cope with any anticipated additional pressure this weekend."

Dorset Council have released some top tips for keeping safe this weekend. These include being prepared to sit in traffic, wearing a face covering where necessary, practising social distancing, staying hydrated and avoiding direct sunlight in the middle of the day. Swimmers should stay safe while in the water as there may not be lifeguards present on the beaches.

Local GP and chair of NHS Dorset CCG, Dr Forbes Watson, said: "Whilst we are past the initial peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important for us to remain vigilant and stay alert to stay safe.

"With this in mind we are asking people to help reduce the spread of the virus by listening and adhering to the national advice, but don’t put off seeking help if you need it and when you do need it, use the most appropriate care for your needs."

Dorset Echo: Traffic jam in WeymouthTraffic jam in Weymouth

ROADS around Dorset are expected to be jammed this weekend as tourists flock to the seaside to enjoy sizzling temperatures.

Dorset Police is now urging visitors to plan their routes in advance and drive safely on the county's roads, while reminding them to continue to socially distance as the threat of coronavirus remains prevalent.

Superintendent Richard Bell, from Dorset Police, said: "We have seen a significant increase in demand during the last few weeks with the good weather attracting thousands more people to Dorset.

"We would ask anyone coming to the area to be prepared; it will be busy, please take care on our roads and respect the fact that many beaches will be near capacity and you may need to change your plans and find another less busy location."

A major incident was declared in June after hot weather tempted thousands of people to Dorset beaches leading to more than 550 parking enforcement fines. Police are hoping that visitors will behave responsibly this weekend so the incident is not repeated.

Supt Bell added: "We are working closely with our partners to maintain a safe environment for everyone, but it is critical people act responsibly, park considerately and remember that COVID-19 has not gone away. Everyone must play their part in maintaining the safety for residents and visitors alike."