Counting for elections held across the Watford area yesterday will not begin until tomorrow (Saturday).

Officials have taken the unprecedented step of delaying the count by at least 24 hours following advice from Hertfordshire’s director of public health, Jim McManus.

He believes quarantining the ballot boxes for a day will reduce any risk of transmission of coronavirus from ballot papers to counters.

All Hertfordshire County Council votes will be counted on Saturday at various locations in Watford, Rickmansworth, and Radlett, with all of the 78 newly-elected councillors expected to be confirmed by Saturday evening.

Votes will also be counted on Saturday for the 13 Watford Borough Council seats up for election, along with the by-election seat in Bushey North for a place on Hertsmere Borough Council.

Three Rivers District Council is not set to begin counting its votes for the district council until Sunday, with a third of its council seats up for election.

Votes for the county’s next Police and Crime Commissioner will be counted on Monday.