The bank holiday weekend fell just short of producing the hottest day of the year, with highs of 24.9C close to the capital.
However, a mass of Arctic Maritime air saw the mercury drop significantly on Monday to highs of just 14.2C, with temperatures as low as -5.2C recorded in the Scottish highlands.
Tuesday saw a cold and frosty start in most areas, and with snow falling in showers in the north, Met Office forecasters warned: “You could be forgiven for thinking that winter has returned on Tuesday.”
Southern areas, should however feel less chilly, with lighter winds than Monday amid broken cloud and sunny spells.
While the persistent winds will continue to bring a chill to the air, this is expected to ease gradually throughout the week in most areas.
“The week ahead will see a gradual recovery in daytime temperatures, but overnight frosts will be an ever present risk – gardeners and growers take note,” the Met Office said.
While the forecast remains persistently cloudy, by the weekend there will likely be highs of around 17C near London, and 13C in Northern Ireland and Scotland, where the more wintry conditions should begin to ease up somewhat.
While the daily exercise limit has also been lifted in Scotland and Wales – with Northern Ireland looking set to follow suit next week – Boris Johnson has gone further in allowing people to meet one other person from another household.
But there has been considerable confusion about how the new rules should be carried out in practice, with even government ministers having to be corrected over the new rules.
Health secretary Matt Hancock reiterated on Tuesday morning that, as of Wednesday, those in England can meet a different person outside every day so long as they practice social distancing.
With the population forbidden to congregate in groups of any size outwith their own household – or sit on benches or grass except as a pause to exercise – for nearly seven weeks, some concerns have been raised at the sudden prospect of crowded public spaces.
John Apter, chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales on Monday warned of the new guidance: “Policing this crisis has been tough, a lack of clarity and mixed messages has made that even harder.
“If we fail to get clear and unambiguous guidance policing this crisis will become almost impossible.”
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