South Africa variant: How door-to-door testing works and which areas will be tested

1 February 2021, 16:24 | Updated: 2 February 2021, 13:04

By Zoe Adams

London, Kent and Hertfordshire are just some of the areas in England being offered mass testing following the South African Covid strain discovery - but how does the door to door testing work?

Urgent coronavirus testing will be taking place throughout parts of England after the discovery of more cases of the South African Covid variant.

Over 16s across areas including London, Kent and Southport will be taking part in door to door testing, even if no symptoms are showing, in a bid to stop the spread of the virus any further.

The mass testing comes after two South African Covid cases have been discovered in Surrey despite no link to travel or previous cases of the strain.

Will the Covid vaccine still work against the new South African variant?

So where is door to door mass Covid testing being introduced? What is door to door testing? Here’s what you need to know:

Door to door testing will be carried out by local health teams to detect new Covid variants
Door to door testing will be carried out by local health teams to detect new Covid variants. Picture: PA

Where is door to door Covid testing happening?

At the moment, urgent Covid tests are being carried out in eight areas of England after the South African variant reaches 105 cases in total.

These will be taking place in:

W7, N17 and CR4 in London

WS2 in Walsall

ME15 in Maidstone, Kent

PR9 in Southport

EN10 in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire

GU21 in Woking

Some cases of the South African variant appear to be community based hence the reason for local testing.

How does door to door testing work?

Door to door testing has been happening since the end of 2020 in parts of England that’s required mass testing.

Local health teams and Covid volunteers will be carrying out door to door screenings with mobile testing units also being introduced.

Everyone will be urged to take a test, even if they are showing no symptoms of coronavirus.