Election results will be delayed in Hertfordshire this year after officials advised ballot boxes should stay closed for 24 hours in a bid to prevent any spread of Covid-19.

Voters across the county will go to the polls on Thursday May 6 to elect their county councillor, borough or district councillor in some places, as well as a police and crime commissioner.

But due to the pandemic, safety precautions are being put in place once all of the votes have been cast.

A count delay of at least 24 hours is designed to reduce any possible transmission of the virus from the handling of ballot papers – or from any aerosol particles that could be generated from the tipping out of large quantities of ballot papers.

Hertsmere Borough Councils is among nine out of the ten in Hertfordshire to delay the process, with counting not beginning until Saturday May 8 - officials in Broxbourne have opted to start counting sooner - on the Friday - following advice from the Electoral Commission.

That advice suggests it is not necessary to quarantine papers like Hertfordshire County Council has advised, so long as other measures, such as hand-sanitising, face masks, and one-way systems are in place.

In Hertsmere, county council votes for seats in Borehamwood, Bushey, Potters Bar, and villages, will be counted on Saturday.

The votes for two by-elections - in Borehamwood and Bushey - as well as by-elections at Shenley, Aldenham, and South Mimms parish councils will also take place on the Saturday.

Votes cast by residents in Radlett and Shenley on their respective neighbourhood plans will also be counted on the same day.

Any counts not finalised on Saturday will be completed on Monday.

See more: List of candidates for Borehamwood, Elstree, Radlett, Shenley

All votes cast for the Hertfordshire police and crime commissioner will be verified and counted on Monday May 10.

Hertfordshire's director of public health, Jim McManus, said: "The guide covers everything from risk assessment to counting and the emphasis is on ensuring people can vote and count safely.

"The multi-agency group which wrote the guidance reviewed the evidence and took advice.

"From our perspective, we also looked at what other elections did and will continue to review the evidence.

"Our continued question is whether tipping out large quantities of ballot papers from boxes can generate aerosols."