Mass testing to be extended to Bristol after 11 cases of Covid mutation found

Matt Hancock has called it a ‘mutation of concern’

Matt Hancock announced that mass testing will be extended to Bristol after 11 cases of Covid mutations were detected.

Evidence of 32 cases of mutations unrelated to international travel have also been identified in Liverpool, the Health Secretary announced to local MPs today.

This comes after eight hotspots for the new South Africa mutation were identified within the UK, with door-to-door testing rolled out in those areas.

Mr Hancock said: “In those areas where this variant has been found – parts of Broxbourne, London, Maidstone and Southport, Walsall and Woking – we’re putting in extra testing and sequencing every positive test.

“Working with local authorities we’re going door to door to test everyone in those areas and mobile testing units will be deployed offering PCR tests to people who have to leave their home for work or other essential reasons.

“We have also seen 11 cases of mutations of concern in Bristol and 32 in Liverpool, and are taking the same approach. In all these areas it is imperative that people must stay at home and only leave home where it is absolutely essential.”

He also said we “must continue to act with caution” and “when your local authority offers you a test you should take up the offer, because we know that one in three people with coronavirus have no symptoms but can still pass it on”.

So far, it is unclear when and where door-to-door testing will begin in Bristol. However, everyone aged 16 or over will be offered a test, even if they have already been vaccinated.

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