Two cases of covid South African variant detected in Scarborough, North Yorkshire County Council confirm

Two cases of the South African variant of coronavirus, believed to be as infectious as the strain discovered in Kent, have been detected in Scarborough.
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The cases are the first of the variant to be detected in North Yorkshire and are linked to international travel.

Public health bosses have stressed that there is as of yet no evidence of community transmission of the variant in the county.

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The individuals who have tested positive are both in self-isolation in the Scarborough area.

There are no plans yet to step up door-to-door testing as has been seen in other parts of the country where the variant has been found to be spreading in the community.

Eleven cases of the variant have been identified nationwide over the last five or six days in people who have no links to travel - suggesting it may be spreading in communities.

Mobile testing units have been deployed and home testing kits are being distributed in Hanwell, west London; Tottenham, north London; Mitcham, south London; Walsall in the West Midlands; Broxbourne, Hertfordshire; Woking, Surrey; Maidstone, Kent; and Southport, Merseyside.

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Yesterday residents living in those areas were given strengthened stay at home advice, but that does not as of yet apply to anywhere in North Yorkshire.

Two cases of the South African covid variant have been detected in ScarboroughTwo cases of the South African covid variant have been detected in Scarborough
Two cases of the South African covid variant have been detected in Scarborough

Louise Wallace, North Yorkshire's director of public health, said: "These cases are not linked to community transmission.

"The people involved have done all the right things since returning home from abroad and have self-isolated in line with the guidance.

"As such, there is not considered to be any community risk associated with them, and we will not be sharing any more information about them.

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"It is the case that there are a number of variants of the virus circulating at any one time.

"We must stay at home, make essential journeys only, social distance at all times and wear face coverings when advised."

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