Thousands flocked to beaches amid warnings high temperatures over the next few days could result in people dying.
Tracy Nicholls, chief executive at the College of Paramedics, said the “ferocious heat” predicted to hit the UK could have a detrimental effect on Britons.
People play in the water at Southend-on-Sea on the Thames Estuary in Essex (Yui Mok/PA)
But Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab said people should be resilient enough to “enjoy the sunshine”.
People on a crowded Margate beach in Kent (Gareth Fuller/PA)
A man takes a family selfie in the water at Southend-on-Sea (Yui Mok/PA)
Scorching temperatures are predicted for Monday, with Peterborough expected to hit 37C and Milton Keynes, Norwich and Lincoln set to see 36C – while temperatures could rise to 40C in London on Tuesday.
A young boy wearing his sun hat takes part in ChessFest, the UK’s largest one-day chess event, at Trafalgar Square in central London (Victoria Jones/PA)
Climate attribution scientist at the Met Office, Dr Nikos Christidis, said the 40C prediction is a result of climate change.
The forecaster issued an amber warning for the majority of England on Sunday. The alert extends to southern Scotland and Wales from Monday until Tuesday.
The UK’s first red extreme heat warning has also been issued by the Met Office across a large part of England from London to Manchester and York on Monday and Tuesday.
People relax on the beach at Southend-on-Sea (PA)
A beachgoer floats in a flamingo rubber ring in the sea at Southend-on-Sea (Yui Mok/PA)
The UK Health Security Agency has also issued a heat health warning at level four, which is described as a “national emergency”.
A woman wears an umbrella shield on her head during hot weather in Trafalgar Square (Victoria Jones/PA)
Ms Nicholls told Sky News’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday programme: “This isn’t like a lovely hot day where we can put a bit of sunscreen on, go out and enjoy a swim and a meal outside.
“This is serious heat that could actually, ultimately, end in people’s deaths because it is so ferocious. We’re just not set up for that sort of heat in this country.”
People arrive early at Perranporth beach (Ben Birchall/PA)
Her comments were made after Mr Raab said people should take precautions ahead of the record-breaking temperatures but added that they should be able to enjoy themselves.
People on the beach in Margate, Kent (Gareth Fuller/PA)
People in the water at Southend-on-Sea on the Thames Estuary in Essex (Yui Mok/PA)
“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 Sophy Ridge On Sunday.
“We ought to enjoy the sunshine and actually we ought to be resilient enough through some of the pressures it will place.”