Sunseekers test social distancing by swimming in London's Hackney Marshes in hot weather

Scantily clad Londoners were filmed swimming in Hackney Marshes on Wednesday, despite a senior UK minister warning such behaviour risked the UK going back to "square one" of the coronavirus lockdown.

Video flmed by a local citizen passing by on his bicycle on the hottest day of the year to date shows scores of people playing in the water and sunbathing.

"[They were] clearly not respecting lockdown rules/social distancing," the filmer said.

"It actually felt busier than I've ever seen it. I've been living in this area for three years. We were cycling, it was quite shocking. I know it's been used for bathing - and it's prohibited anyway, because the water is not clean. There are warnings about it there," the filmer later told Newsflare in a telephone interview.

On Thursday, health minister Matt Hancock said urged Britons to stick to the rules. “Let’s not go back to square one. We can all play our part in the national effort,” he reportedly said.