The gloom of lockdown was lifted on Sunday by the unfamiliar glow of snow in large parts of the UK, but police reminded the public to confine snowball fights to back gardens and household bubbles only.
By midday on Sunday, much of the the UK including London, was blanketed in a thick layer of snow, with weather warnings for snow and ice extending to southern England.
The Met Office put a yellow weather warning in place stretching from coast to coast in southern England and ending just south of Manchester.
“Snow seems to bring out the big kid in everyone,” tweeted the minister for sport Nigel Huddleston with a video of him lobbing a snowball at a camera.
MPs from all parties posted snowy scenes with glee. “Who didn’t have some fun this morning?” said LibDem justice spokesperson Wera Hobhouse.
While Labour’s Alex Davies Jones posted “Do you wanna build a snowman?”
But several police forces, such as Wandsworth in London, urged the public to confine snowman building and snowball fights to back gardens.
Kingston police in west London urged people to stay inside. It tweeted: “It’s so beautiful to watch the snow fall from the comfort of your own home. Plus there’s a pandemic going on. #StaySafe in the #snowday by playing in the back garden!”
Gwent Police in south Wales warned the public not to break the lockdown rules. “Please stay home, and do not meet up with other households,” it tweeted. Several forces, including Sandwell in the West Midlands, urged drivers to stay off the roads unless absolutely necessary.
Merton police in south-west London went for humour, tweeting: “Sorry to be ‘that grumpy relative’ but with the snow coming down the way it is, please drive carefully. And if you’re going to have a snowball fight, please stick to your bubbles. Also do not eat yellow snow.”
The Met Office warned the public to expect more snow and icy patches on untreated roads and pavements, with journeys by road and rail likely to be affected.
It said: “Outbreaks of snow will continue over parts of north Wales, the Midlands, East Anglia and south-east England with some further significant accumulations causing disruption. Wintry showers will also affect western parts with local temporary accumulations and a risk of ice.”
A similar warning is in place down the east-coast of Scotland and covering most of the island of Ireland. The showers of sleet and snow are expected to die out, with a heavy frost due to set in across most parts of the country on Sunday evening.