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NEWS: New guidance for areas affected by variant of concern in England

The government in England has issued guidance for those living in areas affected by the latest coronavirus variant of concern. The variant (known as B.1.617.2 and first identified in India) is being carefully monitored by Public Health England which releases weekly updates on the number of confirmed new cases of variants of concern in the UK.

The list of areas where the variant is speading fastest has expanded and now includes:

  • Bedford Borough Council
  • Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council
  • Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council
  • Burnley Borough Council
  • Kirklees Council
  • Leicester City Council
  • London Borough of Hounslow
  • North Tyneside Council

In these areas, people are advised to: 

  • Meet outside rather than inside where possible
  • Try to keep 2 metres apart from people that you don’t live with (unless you have formed a support bubble with them) - this includes friends and family you don’t live with
  • Minimise travel in and out of affected areas
  • Get tested twice a week for free and isolate if you are positive
  • Continue to work from home if you can
  • Get vaccinated when you are offered it, and encourage others to do so as well

Getting tested for COVID-19

You should self-isolate immediately if you have symptoms or a positive test result for COVID-19.

Early years and childcare settings in the affected areas listed above are open to all children and should continue to operate as normal, following the government guidance for providers. Families living in the affected areas can travel to settings to access childcare provision. 

We will be closely monitoring the government guidance around the latest coronavirus variant and will continue to keep PACEY members informed of any further changes and updates.