Amber heat warning starts as temperatures could reach 41C early next week
he amber heat warning for extreme heat has started on Sunday for England and parts of Wales as 41C could scorch the UK early next week.
It has been warned some people may experience health effects leading to potential “danger to life” in the peak of the heatwave.
The amber warning also means substantial changes in working practices and daily routines are likely to be required and there is an increased risk of water safety incidents as well as transport delays.
Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab said people should be resilient enough to be able to “enjoy the sunshine” during the coming days.
As temperatures rise, Mr Raab urged people to take “common sense” precautions when out in the heat.
“Obviously there is some common sense practical advice we are talking about – stay hydrated, stay out of the sun at the hottest times, wear sun cream – those sorts of things,” he told Sky News’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday programme.
“We ought to enjoy the sunshine and actually we ought to be resilient enough through some of the pressures it will place.”
Asked if people should consider working from home, Mr Raab said: “That is for employers to consider and people to decide.
“I’m not going to start dictating things like that. But obviously we have got more flexible working. So that will also help with this kind of thing.”
England’s alert will be red for the first time from Monday until Tuesday and the Met Office amber warning will extend to southern Scotland.
A national emergency has been declared.
London commuters have been urged not to travel in the capital and to only make essential journeys on those days.
The capital’s mayor Sadiq Khan held a special crunch meeting with key senior officials from agencies including the NHS, the Met Police, London Fire Brigade, London Ambulance Service, councils and Transport for London on Friday to discuss the plan for the level four heat alert.
Mr Khan has urged Londoners to undertake only essential travel on Monday and Tuesday and to prepare for disruption because speed restrictions will be in place on rail and Tube networks.
Temperatures could reach a record-breaking high of 41C as the highest ever temperature was set at 38.7C in Cambridge in 2019.
Extra measures have been put in place to tackle the heatwave.
More call handlers, support for the fleet and extra hours of capacity within ambulances have been set up for the hot spell.
Steve Barclay told the BBC: “The clear message to the public is to take the sensible steps in terms of water, shade and cover, that many people are aware of. That’s the best way of mitigating against the heat.
“We’re asking people to keep an eye out for their neighbours and those who may be vulnerable.
“We’re also putting in additional contingency support as well.”