Hertfordshire residents appear to be sleepwalking their way into tighter restrictions.

The last week does not make great reading, because while cases have been high in the south of the county for some time, the north was comparatively ‘virus-free’.

But not anymore, and it now seems inevitable that the county will fall into stricter lockdown restrictions.

Understandably, the council is seeking to do all it can to avoid going into high alert.

There’s the economic impact it could have on the county’s businesses to take into consideration - no business wants to suffer anymore than it has already.

Read more - Coronavirus hospital admissions in Hertfordshire have doubled

And director of public health in Hertfordshire, Jim McManus, told the media earlier this month that places like restaurants are actually Covid secure and he was encouraging people to visit them.

But on the other hand, cases are at high levels across the county, and the data shows worryingly, it is creeping into the elderly population more and more as the days go on.

Public health officials appear to be taking a pragmatic approach, keen to ensure some aspects of daily life remain undamaged, but the situation is worsening and Tier 2 cannot be far.