CUMBRIA'S public health chief is urging people to follow the new coronavirus restrictions as he warns that a local lockdown in the county is 'likely' at some stage.

Cumbria's Director of Public Health, Colin Cox, said the number of new cases across the county continue to go in the "wrong direction". He was speaking in the aftermath of the Prime Minister's announcement on new rules yesterday.

"We have got rising rates on a national level so it is completely inevitable that new restrictions would be put in place on a national level," explained Mr Cox.

"I am not surprised by them, the only question is whether they go far enough. I was slightly surprised there was no further constraint on the rule of six and the number of households that can meet," explained Mr Cox.

"I wouldn't be surprised if that came as a later change. It makes sense in my mind. A lot of the transmission we are seeing is through household to household contact, that is where we would make a bigger difference.

"That is why we have done what we have in Barrow, advising only two households meet.

"When one person gets it in a household, each person in that household will usually get it.

"When households get together and meet, that is when the transmission occurs."

The public health director says household to household transmission is having a bigger impact than in work and casual settings.

"There is less transmission in the workplace and in casual settings. For example, if you were to go to the pub and someone in the pub had Covid that wasn't in your group, the chances of other people (outside of the infected person's group) catching it are slim.

"But if you go to the pub with someone who has Covid in your group, the chances are much higher."

Mr Cox said aside from Barrow, the rest of Cumbria is some way from requiring a local lockdown. Rates in other areas of the county are between 10 and 20 cases per 100,000 people.

He said that when there is between 50 and 70 cases per 100,000, that that is when a lockdown would be considered. Mr Cox added it was important people follow the rules, warning a future local lockdown for Cumbria is "likely" at some stage.