A SOMERSET MP is urging his constituents to take 'every possible precaution' to protect themselves against coronavirus after a shock rise in cases in the South West.

Bridgwater and West Somerset MP Ian Liddell-Grainger said West Somerset is heading for lockdown unless the incidence rate can be brought under control.

Officials say West Somerset’s infection rate is now the highest in the county at 44.5 per 100,000, with a particular concentration in Minehead.

Posters are now being distributed to schools, business and health centres calling for anyone who displays even mild symptoms to isolate themselves and get tested – and to make sure their families isolate as well.

Mr Liddell-Grainger, said the rise in cases in Minehead is 'truly alarming.'

“Minehead has been thrust into the role of a virus hotspot after six months of outbreaks being restricted to very, very low levels indeed,” he said.

“No-one should underestimate the gravity of the situation: no-one should take the slightest risk of contracting or spreading infection. But it is now very much in the hands of the local community as to whether we can get on top of this spike in cases –or whether we shall see the situation deteriorate further.

“I hesitate to remind my constituents of what was said at the time: that a funfair is precisely the kind of event where uncontrolled social mixing takes place – something that of course we have all been urged to avoid for several weeks now, precisely because of the chances of it leading to the type of outcome we are now witnessing,” he said.