HEREFORDSHIRE Council is repeating the Stay at Home message from the Government, as Covid cases continue to rise in the county.

The instruction comes in the wake of a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases across the country, including Herefordshire, in recent weeks.

In the week ending January 1, there were 600 new cases in Herefordshire, a rise of 70.9 per cent.

Herefordshire’s Acting Director of Public Health Dr Rebecca Howell-Jones said: “Throughout this pandemic, the vast majority of Herefordshire residents and businesses have shown extraordinary levels of compliance to the COVID-19 rules in order to protect themselves, their loved ones and wider communities against this highly contagious and sometimes lethal virus.

"“But, with the new variant spreading rapidly in our communities, the pressure on our health and care services is now greater than at any other time in this pandemic.

“We ask that Herefordshire residents step up to the plate once again and Stay at Home to protect the NHS and save lives. We know this an extremely difficult time for many people but there is help for our most vulnerable members of society.”

The latest guidance stipulates people should only leave home for specific reasons:

• shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person

• go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home

• exercise once a day locally with one person from your household (or support bubble) or one other person

• meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one

• seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)

• attend education or childcare - for those eligible