A DOCTORS' surgery in Herefordshire is telling patients to wear face masks during appointments as they say Covid cases are rising.

Ledbury Health Partnership, based in the town's Market Street, told patients that the move would help protect everyone.

In June, NHS hospitals and surgeries in England dropped the need for patients to wear masks.

But a month later, the GP surgery said: "Please be aware, due to increasing levels of Covid, we have taken the decision to return to wearing face masks in all of our buildings, unless you are exempt, please ensure you arrive for your appointment wearing a mask, to help protect yourself and others."

It comes as Covid-19 infections in the UK jumped by more than half a million in a week, with the rise likely to be driven by the latest Omicron variants BA.4 and BA.5, figures show.

Hospital numbers are also continuing to increase, with early signs of a rise in intensive care admissions among older age groups.

A total of 2.3 million people in private households are estimated to have had the virus last week, up 32 per cent from a week earlier, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

This is the highest estimate for total infections since late April, but is still some way below the record high of 4.9 million seen at the peak of the Omicron BA.2 wave at the end of March.