The variant first identified in India was revealed to have been detected in North Tyneside earlier in May.
North Tyneside is now on the Government’s list of zones where the variant is spreading fastest, and surge testing is being carried out.
The Government’s official advice is to “avoid travelling in and out of affected areas unless it is essential, for example for work (if you cannot work from home) or education”.
People in North Tyneside and other areas on the Government’s list have also been asked to meet outside rather than inside where possible and keep two metres apart from people that they don’t live with (unless they have formed a support bubble with them).
People in the area have also been told they should:
:: Get tested twice a week for free and isolate if they are positive
:: Continue to work from home if possible
:: Get vaccinated when offered it, and encourage others to do so as well
:: Get tested for Covid-19. This includes:
- Arranging to have a PCR test if you have symptoms of Covid-19
- Participating in surge testing
- Getting regular rapid tests for those who do not have symptoms of coronavirus (Covid-19)
- Self-isolating immediately if there are symptoms or a positive test result for Covid-19.
North Tyneside’s director of public health, Wendy Burke, said there had been no indication of any additional restrictions when an announcement about extra testing was made last week.
She said: “Last Wednesday it was announced in Parliament that North Tyneside, along with five other areas in England, would be subject to enhanced testing and vaccinations.“When the announcement was made there was no indication it would come with any additional restrictions for North Tyneside or the other areas.“We understand that, later, Government guidance around travel in and out of North Tyneside was posted on the Government website.
“This has not been accompanied by any communication to the local authority, local residents or businesses.“We have already queried this with the Department of Health and Social Care to seek clarification.“We will continue to work with Government on our enhanced testing and vaccination plan which is now in place.”
The full list of areas where the advice applies:
Bedford Borough Council
Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council
Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council
Burnley Borough Council
Leicester City Council
London Borough of Hounslow
North Tyneside Council
The new COVID-19 variant spreads more easily from person to person. To help stop the spread, you should take particular caution when meeting anyone outside your household or support bubble.