A health boss has warned that high temperature forecasts could lead to the death of people, while Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab said people should be resilient enough to “enjoy the sun”.
Chief executive of the College of Paramedics, Tracy Nicholls, has said the “ferocious heat” the UK is expected to experience over the next few days could have a detrimental effect on Britons.
Scorching temperatures are forecast for Monday, with Peterborough expected to reach 37C and Milton Keynes, Norwich and Lincoln expected to reach 36C – while temperatures could reach 40C in London on Tuesday.
Met Office climate attribution scientist Dr Nikos Christidis said the 40C prediction is the result of climate change.
The forecaster issued an amber warning for the majority of England on Sunday, which then extends to southern Scotland and Wales from Monday to Tuesday.
The UK’s first red extreme heat warning was also issued by the Met Office across much of England, from London to Manchester and York, on Monday and Tuesday.
The UK Health Security Agency has also issued a level four heat health warning, which is described as a “national emergency”.
Ms Nicholls told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge On Sunday: ‘It’s not like a nice hot day where we can put on some sunscreen, go out and enjoy a swim and a meal at the outside.
“It’s severe heat that could actually end up killing people because it’s so fierce. We’re just not prepared for that kind of heat in this country.
His comments came after Mr Raab said people should take precautions ahead of record high temperatures, but added they should be able to enjoy themselves.
“Obviously, there’s practical common sense advice we’re talking about – stay hydrated, stay out of the sun in the hottest hours, wear sunscreen – that sort of thing,” he said. he said Sunday at Sophy Ridge.
“We have to take advantage of the sun and in fact we have to be resilient enough to some of the pressures that it will exert.”
Ministers held a virtual emergency Cobra meeting on Saturday after meteorologists warned record temperatures could put lives at risk.
Additional emergency support for ambulance services, such as more call handlers and overtime, was introduced on Monday and Tuesday.
Transport services are expected to be halted on both days, with Cabinet Minister Kit Malthouse urging people not to travel.
Avanti West Coast, Transport for London and London North Eastern Railway are also urging passengers not to travel unless absolutely necessary.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the NHS Confederation has said hospitals are going to be “really, really pushed” over the next few days.
Lord Victor Adebowale said the NHS “will cope”, but added that “coping is not enough”.
He told Times Radio: “My limbs are pretty stretched out right now. Ambulances are operating at their peak, waiting times for ambulances are now getting longer.
“The NHS will get through this, but coping is not enough. We really need to operate in a way that allows people to get the treatment they need where they need it, when they need it. And it’s a fight.
Schools in several counties, including Nottinghamshire and Hampshire, have confirmed they will close on Monday and Tuesday following health warnings, while Milton Keynes University Hospital ‘cancels routine outpatient appointments and surgery ” those days.
Greater Manchester Police have implored people to avoid cooling off in reservoirs, rivers or ponds after a teenager died while swimming with friends in a canal.
The 16-year-old struggled and was last seen struggling in the water at Salford Quays in Greater Manchester around 6.15pm on Saturday.
A boy’s body was found overnight and officers believe it may be that of the missing teenager.