Tests were still being delivered to people in parts of the SE16 postcode area until the evening of Wednesday, April 21, after the South African variant was detected in Rotherhithe last week, Southwark Council has said.
The council’s temporary testing centre at Deal Porter Square next to Canada Water Library will remain in place until next Monday, April 26, having opened on Wednesday, April 14. The centre operates from 9am to 3pm. Tests are carried out onsite.
The local authority said it handed out more than 1,500 Covid-19 tests on the first day of surge testing last Wednesday, April 14. Everyone in the area also got a letter explaining the situation.
Sangeeta Leahy, Director of Public Health at Southwark Council, said: “The response of our residents from these households has been really positive. We thank people for their support with the ongoing targeted testing in their area and encourage residents and local businesses to take and return a test if we ask them to.”
You can also collect a home testing kit from Canada Water Library Theatre at 21 Surrey Quays Road between 9am and 5pm every day. Access is via the fire door at the rear of the library, not the main entrance.
The letter tells residents that “there is no cause for alarm” and the increased testing is just a “precaution”.
The South African variant is thought to spread particularly easily and there are concerns it could also make vaccines less effective – which might leave those in clinically vulnerable groups at risk even if they have received their jabs.
London mayor Sadiq Khan added: “Additional testing will be taking place in a targeted area within SE16 in Southwark after a confirmed case of the COVID-19 variant first discovered in South Africa was found.
“It’s vital that all those who are asked to take a PCR test in this area do so, regardless of whether they have symptoms or not.
“This testing is essential to help monitor and suppress the spread of the virus.”