The Surrey Local Resilience Forum (SLRF) is working with Public Health England (PHE) and the Department of Health and Social Care to carry out localised testing programmes in the Goldsworth Park and St Johns areas of Woking and the programme is also being extended to Egham over the coming days.
This follows notification that a different variant of Covid-19 has been identified from positive tests cases within an area of Woking and Egham. This is known as the SARS-CoV-2 variant which originated in South Africa.
Residents within the affected area will be visited, with the request that they carry out a Covid-19 PCR test whether they have symptoms or not.
This will enable the Surrey Local Resilience Forum, working closely with Public Health England, NHS Test & Trace and the Joint Biosecurity Centre to closely monitor any community spread of the new variant, and restrict further transmission.
There is currently no evidence that the SARS-CoV-2 variant causes more severe illness, or that the regulated vaccine would not protect against it.
Residents in the affected areas, and across Woking, should remain calm and continue to follow the national restrictions that are currently in place.
A similar surveillance exercise is expected to extend into the Egham area in the coming days, and residents will be kept informed.
If residents are asked to take a test they do not need to self-isolate as this is a surveillance measure only. Residents with any Covid-19 symptoms should follow national public health advice in the normal way. Residents outside of the selected area do not need to take any action.
If residents being asked to take a test have a vaccination appointment they can still attend, unless they have any Covid-19 symptoms, in which case they should follow national public health guidelines.
By staying at home, we can all help stop the spread of Covid-19. If you do need to leave your home for essential reasons please ensure to keep your distance, wash your hands and cover your nose and mouth. If you test positive by any method, you must isolate to stop the spread of the virus.
The Surrey Local Resilience Forum has been working on the Covid response for Surrey since March 2020 and is made up of local partners including Surrey County Council, Surrey Police, District and Borough Councils, Surrey Fire and Rescue Service, local health services, volunteer organisations and others.
More information, including FAQs and a detailed map of the affected area, is available on the Surrey County Council website.