Sellafield's top boss has urged the nuclear site's workforce to "continue to play their part" in protecting the NHS, as the country returns to lockdown conditions.

Martin Chown, Sellafield Ltd chief executive, described the rising cases of Covid-19 across the country as "extremely serious".

"Everybody must continue to play their part in protecting the NHS and keeping each other safe," he said.

"For many, this will involve staying at home to work and we must all restrict social activities and follow the rules now laid out by the government."

Mr Chown added that as much of Sellafield's workforce as possible should now work from home.

"The shift to working from home has already helped reduce the number of people on the Sellafield site and in our offices. Thank you for your efforts here.

"For many working on our critical national infrastructure programme, continuing to attend the workplace is essential to maintain safety and security and to deliver our mission safely."

He also said that as the Government's position regarding school closures is "now clear", he wanted to "reassure all employees that we have policies in place to help people manage the impact of increased childcare responsibilities - and will continue to review these as the situation changes".

"We are working with our local partners in health, police and local authorities to support them, but also ensure that our nuclear licensed site continues to have the appropriate levels of protection and resilience around it," he said.

"Finally, I would like to thank everyone for their sustained efforts in keeping the site safe and secure, while delivering our mission in difficult times."