VOTERS are being reminded how they can stay Covid-secure as they cast their ballot in local elections next month.

Polling stations will be open on May 6 but measures are being in place to lower the risk of Covid-19, including one-way systems, screens and hand sanitising points.

Voters are asked to wear a face covering in polling stations, unless exempt, and to bring their own pen or pencil if possible – though both pencils and masks will be available for those who forget.

Electors should also come prepared for the weather as they may have to queue outside while numbers inside the polling station are limited to ensure social distancing.

To help manage the flow, voters are encouraged to avoid the usual peak time of the evening, and are reminded polling stations are open from 7am through until 10pm - quieter times tend to be mid-morning and mid-afternoon.

Voters should check their poll card to see where their polling station is, as it may have changed from previous elections.

A temporary polling station will be in place in Coppins Hall, Clacton, following a fire earlier in the year at community centre – meaning voters in that area can still have a local polling place.

People can also appoint a proxy – someone else to go and vote on their behalf.

The deadline for this is 5pm on April 27, though if something happens after then – including if someone has to self-isolate due to Covid-19 – a proxy can be made up until 5pm on polling day.

For those registered for postal votes, to help ensure ballots are returned on time, Royal Mail has a number of Priority Post Boxes with a late collection time – and in some cases additional weekend collections too.

Postal votes for Tendring elections can also be handed into polling stations in the district on May 6 as a last resort.

Ian Davidson, returning officer for Tendring, said: “With so many different ways of voting there is every opportunity for those who want to cast their ballot to do so.

“I want to give every reassurance that polling stations will be safe places for people to vote at, and the elections team – along with all of our staff who help to run these – have been working very hard to achieve this.”