Working in partnership with Tower Hamlets Council, NHS Test and Trace is providing additional testing and genomic sequencing in targeted areas within E1 postcodes from Sunday.

It follows the identification of multiple confirmed cases of the variants first identified in South Africa (B.1.351) and Brazil (P1).

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

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.

Enhanced contact tracing will be used for individuals testing positive with a variant of concern (VOC). In these instances, contact tracers will look back over an extended period to determine the route of transmission.

By using PCR testing, positive results can be sent for genomic sequencing at specialist laboratories, helping us to identify VOC cases and their spread.

If you have symptoms, you should book a free test online or by phone so you can be tested at a testing site or have a testing kit sent to your home. If you do not have symptoms, you should visit the local authority website for more information.

People in this area should also continue using twice-weekly rapid testing alongside the PCR test as part of surge testing.

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Surge testing to be deployed in Tower Hamlets

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