Covid surge tests have been rolled out to another part of the UK after the worrying South African variant was detected.
NHS Test and Trace is providing additional testing in and around the Woodlands area of Hounslow, London, after a confirmed case of the variant.
The confirmed case has self-isolated and his contacts have been identified.
No link was found between this case and previous cases identified in the South London area.
Anyone aged 16 and over who lives and works in the area is strongly encouraged to take a Covid-19 PCR test, whether or not they have symptoms.
The Department of Health and Social Affairs said in a statement: “Improved contact tracing will be used for people who test positive with a variant of concern.
“This is where contact tracers look back over an extended period to determine the route of transmission.
“Using PCR tests, positive results can be sent for genomic sequencing to specialized laboratories, which helps us identify variants of cases of concern and their spread.
“People with symptoms should book a free test online or over the phone so they can get tested at a testing site or have a test kit sent home.”
Those without symptoms should visit Hounslow’s website for more information.
People in this field should continue to use rapid tests twice a week in addition to PCR testing for surge testing.
It comes as a Covid expert has said the UK is set to open in June and remove lockdown rules, but the British must be prepared for the emergence of new variants.
After months of restrictions, England are set to exit almost all restrictions from June 21.
But we still need to be “careful” and prepare for a possible resurgence this fall, says Professor Peter Openshaw, who is a member of the Advisory Group on New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats (Nertag).
He told The Andrew Marr Show that the country needs to keep an eye on case numbers and new variants.
Prof Openshaw said: “I think we are on the right track at the moment, but we just need to keep an eye on what is happening in terms of the number of cases and in terms of new variants that will arise internally but also enter the country.
“It is inevitable that these variants are found on our coasts or spread in certain regions.
“We just have to be very careful and we have to use this time to prepare ourselves especially for what could happen in the fall when we go back to school.
“Now is the time to prepare.”