Three council leaders have urged residents across three districts to “pull together” after a rise in coronavirus cases.

Hertsmere Borough Council leader Morris Bright, Watford mayor Peter Taylor, Sarah Nelmes, leader of Three Rivers District Council, have today issued a joint statement.

The current weekly rates of Covid-19 cases are above 100 per 100,000 population in each of the three areas they represent.

The statement comes just a day after the director of public health in Hertfordshire warned it was “perfectly possible” the whole county could be put into tier 2 lockdown restrictions if cases continue to rise.

And the director also warned of a rise in cases involving those aged between 60 and 75.

Today's statement from the council leaders in Hertsmere, Watford, and Three Rivers says: "We are entering a critical phase of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

"Across all of our areas more and more people are testing positive with the virus. We are also seeing the impact of these increasing infection rates on hospitals as people from our communities are falling seriously ill and are needing hospital care. 

"We know that this virus has already taken the lives of many loved ones in Hertsmere, Three Rivers and Watford and we must act now to keep our communities safe, reduce the strain on our precious local health services and prevent the need for further restrictions in our areas. 

"These restrictions would limit people being able to see friends and family and put another major pressure on our local businesses just when they are doing all they can to keep going and protect people’s jobs and livelihoods.

"We have a small window to make a difference. Covid-19 continues to pose a big risk to ourselves and those we come into contact with, especially the most vulnerable in our communities. We must do all that we can to protect people and help keep the numbers under control."

They urge people to social distance, wear face coverings, adhere to the rule of six, and wash hands regularly.

During a briefing with the media on Wednesday, cabinet member for public health in Hertfordshire, Cllr Tim Hutchings, said the county "was not far off" Tier 2 restrictions – measures already put in place in London and Essex which restricts different households socialising in any indoor setting.

Director of public health, Jim McManus, said the best way of avoiding going into Tier 2 was for people to act as if they are people they come into contact with are infected.

Rates in some areas of Hertfordshire, like in Stevenage and North Hertfordshire, are low in comparison with Watford, Hertsmere, and Three Rivers – and this is what is keeping Hertfordshire in Tier 1.

Mr McManus yesterday ruled out specific districts in Hertfordshire being given tighter restrictions.

Although rates are still affected by the glitch involving university students, where cases of students from Hertfordshire currently away from home were attributed to their home address, it is not by as much as it was in late September – with Mr McManus confirming the virus is spreading locally. 

A map on the government map shows the areas which recorded the most cases in the seven days to October 16 are North Watford (including Leggatts and Tudor) (39), West Watford (including Holywell) (27) Croxley Green (19), Bushey Heath (19), Bushey Central + North (26), Borehamwood Hillside (16) and Radlett (12).