Hertsmere has been taken off Public Health England's Covid-19 watchlist - despite a rise in new cases over the last couple of days.

The borough was listed as an 'area of concern' on September 11 after a significant outbreak of coronavirus cases in late August and early September.

The outbreak, linked by Hertfordshire County Council to several teenage house parties in the Borehamwood area, led Hertsmere to having the highest weekly rate of new cases in the whole of the south of England, with more than 60 cases in a week.

But targeted action in Borehamwood, Radlett, and Potters Bar from public health officials and local authorities has seen the rate of new weekly cases drop considerably, to below 30.

Leader of Hertsmere Borough Council, Morris Bright, said: "This is really good news for our residents and businesses and I cannot thank everyone enough for their efforts to stay safe and contain the virus.

"With our partners at Hertfordshire County Council, Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue and Herts Police, we’ve worked tirelessly over the past few weeks to help get the message out to play your part to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

"As well as following up on contact tracing, we visited business premises, engaged with local community leaders and conducted weekends of activity where our staff and volunteers chatted to shoppers to encourage them to follow the rules and stay safe.

"Hertsmere is one of only two local authority areas in the UK to be taken off the list after just a few weeks, however we cannot be complacent.

"Please continue to wear a face covering; wash your hands regularly and for longer; follow the latest social distancing advice and self-isolate if you’ve been in contact with anyone who has tested positive for Covid-19.

"Only by doing your bit and working together in this way can we keep infections in our borough to a minimum and enjoy the benefits of avoiding a local lockdown."

Today's news from Public Health England may be positive - but figures released on the government's coronavirus dashboard today confirmed 13 new cases in Hertsmere, including eight which were found on Wednesday.

For more than a week, new daily cases have been in single figures.