Good Morning Britain’s Dr Hilary Jones has issued a warning to ITV viewers over hugging their loved ones as Covid cases rise in the UK.

GMB’s resident medical expert was appearing alongside presenters Richard Madeley and Susanna Reid and guests Rustie Lee and Ellen Scott to discuss whether it’s safe to hug friends and family.

In the middle of the debate, Richard Madeley asked Dr Jones whether people were “ok to hug each other now”.

Jones was quick to say that it wasn’t safe just yet.

Dr Hilary Jones warns ITV viewers over hugging loved ones

Speaking on ITV’s flagship breakfast show he said: "No, unfortunately not. And Rustie Lee knows she'd be one of the first people I would hug if it was safe.

"We all love a hug, I'm a hugger - I like a warm hug as much as the next person but look right now, it's not safe to do.

"We're still in a pandemic, we had a 1000 people die in the last week, we had 7000 hospitalisations up until October 26 and 40000 cases a day. When you're hugging somebody, you are in very close proximity, you're breathing in their air."

Despite the warning on hugs, Dr Hilary added that handshakes could be ok as long as people wash their hands regularly using hand sanitizer.

"It's not as bad as the continental kiss on either cheek because your face actually passes the exhaled air coming from your breathing," he said.

"What I'm saying, be selective with your hugging. Handshaking - if you're sanitising."

He added: "It's about trust. If the person you're going to hug is your close family - your mother, your children - that's a bit different because you know what they're doing, you know how they're behaving.

"The time to do that is when cases are much lower and when we're hugging people that we know are behaving in a social distancing and sensible way. We can mitigate the risk of a hug."