THESE pictures show a rammed Brighton beach as thousands of people basked in 25C amid a nationwide heatwave.

Swimmers, sunbathers and cliff jumpers all descended onto the seafront yesterday just days before so-called "freedom day".

Pictures taken from the seafront on Satruday revealed the scale of the crowds that gathered to enjoy the sun, as people from across the city baked in the sun.

Hundreds of pitched umbrellas to provide some shade from the strong sun, while others opted to cool themselves off by taking a dip in the sea.

Some of the city's daredevils instead opted to jump from sea walls, while others pumped up their paddleboards and made a dash for the ocean.

It comes just days before "Freedom Day" when the lifting of the last remaining restrictions will go ahead.

Mask wearing will become voluntary in many settings and nightclubs will reopen their doors for the first time in more than a year.

Social distancing will be scrapped, meaning the omnipresent two-metre warning signs can be taken down.

In the seven days up to July 9, there was a four per cent rise in the number of coronavirus cases in Brighton and Hove, with 1,270 confirmed new cases recored.

That is equivalent to a weekly rate of 436.6 per 100,000 residents, higher than the South East rate of 242.1 per 100,000 and the England rate of 341.5 per 100,000.

The pattern of infection has risen in all areas of the city and all age groups.

Dr Katie Cuming, public health consultant with Brighton and Hove City Council, recommends that everyone in the city continues to remain cautious and act responsibly after restrictions end on Monday, to stop the virus spreading "out of control".

She said: “Only one in two adults in the city has had two vaccinations so we still have a little way to go before everyone is properly protected.

"There are still vulnerable people among us who could become very unwell if they catch the virus.

“As well as keeping up the basic good hygiene habits that we’ve been following for the past year, the two most important things we can do are to get vaccinated and take symptom-free Covid tests twice a week.

“If you haven’t already booked your first vaccination, please do so today."