COUNTY Durham residents are being reminded to stay safe over the bank holiday weekend.

People are advised to stay at home where possible, unless buying essentials or getting exercise.

While the county’s parks and beaches remain open, those wishing to exercise must remember to socially distance and remain two metres (six feet) away from people outside their household.

Although new government guidance permits meeting up with only one person from outside the household, social distancing must still be observed at all times.

Cafes and visitor centres at the council’s Hardwick, Riverside and Wharton Parks, and The Lodge visitor centre at its Blackhill and Consett Park continue to be closed until further notice.

Amanda Healy, Durham’s director of public health, said: “We know how important it is to be able to exercise and enjoy the outdoors.

"However, it is so important that we continue to stay safe and limit our journeys for the safety of everyone.

“In order to slow the spread of coronavirus, it is vital that we remain two metres or six feet away from anyone who is not in our household and that we continue to wash our hands as frequently as we can for twenty seconds each time.

"Even if we are meeting one person from outside our household, social distancing must be observed."

“The virus can still be easily transmitted and it is important that we do all we can to protect ourselves and others from coronavirus.”