Published Tuesday, 2nd February 2021
South African variant of the coronavirus - update for Sutton
There have been several recent news reports about the new South African variant of the coronavirus.
As a result of this new strain, the government has announced additional testing, which is being made available in locations where the new variant has been found.
This enhanced testing operation is being put in place in 9 areas of the UK to prevent the further spread of the virus. This will support existing extensive testing already in place.
The new variant has been detected in the CR4 postcode but only in the Pollards Hill area in Merton. The national enhanced testing operation is only therefore being delivered in the Pollards Hill area.
Sutton residents in the CR4 postcode are not currently required to take part in the enhanced testing as the variant has not been found in Sutton to date.
While news of a new variant can be concerning, there is no evidence to show the South African variant of COVID -19 is more dangerous. However, it does seem that the variant may spread more easily. The enhanced testing programme aims to help restrict the spread of the virus and keep us and our loved ones safe.
The advice for Sutton remains the same: we should continue to follow all national lockdown guidelines and, if you experience any symptoms of coronavirus, you should book a test in the normal way - by visiting nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119. Following this advice will help reduce the spread of the virus in Sutton, and keep us all safe.