A NEW Amber cold-health alert has been issued for the South West.

The alert, issued by the Met Office and the UK Health Security Agency, is in place until 12pm on Friday, January 12. 

This is an upgrade from yesterday's Yellow cold-health alert.

Vulnerable residents and those with existing medical conditions in particular are urged to do their best to keep warm.

Dr Agostinho Sousa, head of Extreme Events and Health Protection at UKHSA, said: "With the Met Office forecasting drops in temperature across the United Kingdom into next week, it is important to check in on the wellbeing of those most vulnerable to the cold.

"Cold weather can increase the risks of heart attacks, strokes, and chest infections, so it can have a serious impact on health, particularly for older people and those with pre-existing health conditions.

"Temperatures are expected to turn particularly cold overnight, as we would expect at this time of year. If you have a pre-existing medical condition or are over the age of 65 it is important to try and heat the rooms where you spend most of your time, such as your living room or bedroom, in the coming days."