HEALTH chiefs are asking visitors to Cumbria to take a lateral flow test before visiting.

This comes as COVID-19 cases in the area rise, with an increased infection rate of 20 per cent from last week.

Speaking on BBC Breakfast this morning, Colin Cox, director of Public Health Cumbria, said: “If you’re coming to Cumbria, please do come it is a beautiful place and you’ll have a lovely time.

“But please do take a lateral flow test before you travel to make sure as you’re coming here you are clear of the virus.”

As infection rates rise and a new ‘Covid 22’ variant appears, visitors are strongly urged to remain socially distant and to have a negative test before arriving.

Jo Hay, managing director of Cumbria tourism told BBC Breakfast: “We’ve been encouraged to expect some fluctuations and throughout the last 18 months businesses and customers have been fantastically adept at managing situations.

“It is important we all continue to be vigilant and responsible.”

This comes as the ONS reports 156,958 deaths have occurred in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

The highest number on a single day was 1,484 on January 19.