HEREFORDSHIRE'S public health chief has warned the county is not out of the woods yet, despite coronavirus lockdown restrictions easing.

Lockdown restrictions in England have eased, meaning up to six people, or two households, can meet indoors and hospitality can reopen indoors, as well as museums, cinemas and children's soft play centres.

Other big changes include all holiday accommodation being allowed to reopen, there can be outdoor gatherings of up to 30 people and the legal limit of the number of mourners at funerals will be lifted.

But Herefordshire's acting director of public health Dr Rebecca Howell-Jones has said the county is not out of the woods yet, and urged caution as restrictions ease.

“Many of us are excited and relieved that we can now see our friends and families indoors and hug them for the first time in a year, but it is important to remember we are not out of the woods yet," she said.

"Close contact, such as hugging, increases the risk of spreading Covid-19 but there are steps you can take to reduce that risk.

“You can play your part in reducing the risk of spreading Covid-19 by limiting the number of people you have close contact with to a small number of your closest family or friends, and meeting outside where possible.

"If you do meet indoors keep the room well ventilated by opening a window.

"Take the vaccine when it is offered to you.

"Wash your hands and clean surfaces regularly and, importantly, get tested twice a week even if you don’t have symptoms.

"Around one in three people with coronavirus do not show symptoms, so can spread the virus to others without knowing.”

Latest figures show 7,129 people have now tested positive for coronavirus in Herefordshire, with that figure correct as of 4pm on Sunday.

It means over the last week 40 people in Herefordshire have tested positive for Covid-19, 12 fewer than the week before.