Everyone in east London urged to take Covid tests after new variants found

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Anyone living in the E1 postcode of London has been urged to take a coronavirus test after cases of the South African and Brazilian variants were discovered.

All the confirmed cases are self-isolating. There are no links between these cases and the cluster of cases recently identified in South London.

A statement on the Department of Health's (DoH) website reads: “If you are over 11 years of age and you live, work or are educated in an E1 postcode, you’re strongly encouraged to take a COVID-19 PCR test when invited, even if you’re not showing symptoms.”

The tests will be made available from tomorrow (May 2).

The DoH also advised people in the area use twice-weekly rapid testing alongside the PCR test as part of surge testing.

Anyone who works or is educated within the E1 postcode has also been urged to take a test.

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Surge testing has already been deployed in the IG1 and IG6 postcode areas of Redbridge in east London.

The South African variant, which is more contagious than other mutations, was first detected in the UK in December 2020.

There have been more than 700 cases so far in the UK, with the majority of those in England.

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Scientists have also warned that the Brazilian variant could spread “twice as fast”.

The new strain of coronavirus has wreaked havoc across Brazil, with more than 404,000 deaths and 14.7m cases.

Studies are still investigating how effective vaccines are against the mutation.

It comes amid reports people in their 30s are set to be called up for a coronavirus vaccine as early as next week as the rollout of jabs speeds up.

Meanwhile, clubbers in Liverpool were able to have the first night out experience in months, as thousands packed into a venue without social distancing.

The event, held at Liverpool’s Circus on Friday evening (April 30) was part of the national Events Research program run by the government.

The ERP will collect key scientific data from the two nights, looking into how events for a range of audiences could be permitted to safely reopen on June 21 as part of the government's roadmap out of lockdown.

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