South African variant: Should I stay at home?
There is no immediate increased public health risk in the area in which the South African variant of the virus has been found, and we do not yet have any evidence of further local spread
The South African variant is thought to have similar infectiousness and severity to the UK variant that is the main COVID variant in circulation
There is currently no suggestion that the vaccines will not work against the South African variant, although it may reduce its effectiveness. This is still being looked into.
You should continue to follow the national lockdown guidance as before. If you cannot work from home then you can still go to work.
Schools should continue to be open for critical workers and vulnerable children, and early years settings should continue to provide childcare for all.
The reason for the mass testing in the N17 area is for Public Health England to determine how far – if at all – the South African variant has spread in the locality.
This will help us stop it from spreading more widely.
As always: please continue to wash your hands more regularly, wear a face covering when in indoor public settings, and continue to socially distance.
For more information on the South African Variant and the enhanced testing programme please click here.
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