Watford’s Mayor has urged people to “play our part” so Christmas this year can be “as normal as possible”.

Peter Taylor hopes restrictions during the festive period will be eased “as much as possible” following lockdown, which is due to end on December 2.

In a video message on Facebook, Mr Taylor said cases in Watford has stabilised “at around 180 cases per 100,000 residents”.

The rate of cases in the borough in the seven days to November 16 was 169.8 per 100,000 population, down from 183.3 in the same number of days to November 9.

Mr Taylor said: “I know lots of us will be thinking about the fact that in a few weeks’ time it will be Christmas and we hope the restrictions are eased as much as possible so that Christmas can be as normal as possible for all our families.”

He warned that data shows cases are being “linked to shops and visits to supermarkets”.

“I’d encourage everyone to please remain vigilant and keep to the basics when you go shopping,” he said.

“Make sure you wear a mask if you can and that it covers your nose, keep your distance and that you wash your hands before and after the visit.”

“If we all play our part, we can bring the figures down and Christmas can hopefully be a time when we meet others again.”

“So, thank you for all you are doing and we will make sure that you get further updates in the weeks ahead.”

Meanwhile, scientists at Imperial College London predict there is a 97 per cent chance of Watford having at least 100 cases per 100,000 population by the week ending December 5 – three days after lockdown is due to end.

Watford has high chance of being Covid 'hotspot' when lockdown ends - scientists

The university’s Medical Research Council Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis classes areas with such a rate as a Covid-19 ‘hotspot’.

Hertfordshire’s Local Resilience Forum (LRF) urged people cut out unnecessary outings and to stay at home as much as possible to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Darryl Keen, Director of Community Protection at the LRF, said Hertfordshire’s case numbers "haven’t yet fallen as significantly as we need them to".