UK begins door-to-door testing of 80,000 people as new COVID variants spread

A man takes a swab at a test centre in Goldsworth Park, as the South African variant of the novel coronavirus is reported in parts of Surrey, in Woking, Britain, February 1, 2021. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain begins door-to-door COVID-19 testing of 80,000 people on Tuesday in a bid to stem the spread of a new highly infectious so called South African variant of the novel coronavirus.

To contain the new outbreaks, residents in eight areas of the country will now be tested whether or not they are showing symptoms, a process known as “surge testing”.

There are about 10,000 people in each area. Three are in London, two in the southeast, one in central England, one in the east and another in the northwest.

“It is concerning – it’s deeply concerning,” junior education minister Michelle Donelan told Sky. “It’s still a very perilous stage of this virus and we’ve got these new variants spreading.”

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