As tens of thousand of people head to the polls next week, here are the rules and regulations you need to know.

Polling stations will be open on Thursday (May 6) but they may look a little different to pre pandemic.

Measures are being in place to lower the risk of Covid-19, including one-way systems and hand sanitising points.

Councils across Essex have released safety advice ahead of the elections.

Voters will be asked to:

  • Wear a face covering (unless exempt)
  • Use hand sanitiser provided when you enter and exit
  • Bring their own pen or pencil but clean pencils will be made available.
  • Keep to social distancing guidelines and follow any one way systems in place

There will also be a limit to the number of voters allowed in the polling station at any one time.

But councils continue to remind residents that polling stations will be a safe place to vote.

Andy Wright, Electoral Registration Officer for Braintree District Council, said: “Polling stations will be safe places to vote and voters can expect to see many of the measures we’ve all become used to over recent months such as hand sanitiser, floor markings and one way systems.”

The Essex County Council elections will see 75 seats up for grabs across the county.

There is also an election for the post of Essex police, fire and crime commissioner.