The new COVID-19 variant, first identified in India, spreads more easily from person to person. It’s spreading fastest in the following areas: Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Bolton, Kirklees, Bedford, Hounslow, North Tyneside and Leicester.

To help stop the spread, the government are advising that you should take particular caution when meeting anyone outside your household or support bubble. Please not this is advice and not law, or a local lockdown, the hope is that by following this advice we can avoid stricter measures.

In the areas listed above, wherever possible, you should try to:

  • Meet outside rather than inside where possible
  • 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, travelling to work and education is allowed

You should also:

  • 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
  • Refer to local health advice for your area (linked above)

You should get tested for COVID-19. This includes:

You should self-isolate immediately if you have symptoms or a positive test result for COVID-19. There is financial support if you’re off work because of coronavirus.