Testing for new South African variant begins in Norfolk

Watch a piece about testing for the new variant in South Norfolk by ITV Anglia's Raveena Ghattaura here.

Testing for the new South African variant of coronavirus has begun in a corner of South Norfolk.

Everyone over the age of sixteen living in Diss and Roydon is being offered PCR tests for Covid-19. 

People are strongly being encouraged to do so, even if they're not showing symptoms.  Extra mobile testing units are also opening.

The town council leader says it's a necessary step to get back to normality.

Tests are being carried out at Diss Leisure Centre where people like Euan Goodman were keen to get checked.

We've got two younger people in the family. They go out, they are at work so if we get it and pass it to them, it is a big circle again isn't it?  Soon as they said we should do it, because it has come to this area, the best thing is to get it done quickly I think.

Euan Goodman

A small number of cases of the variant were found in the Diss and Roydon area earlier this week.

Letters have been sent out encouraging people to take a test - even if they are not showing symptoms. Three testing centres are in operation and door to door testing is also being carried out.

A necessary step to get back to some kind of normality. 

People queuing outside the village hall in Roydon Credit: ITV Anglia

I think the last 12 months, everybody, if they are honest is going to be worried about every eventuality of this. As I said, I see this as another step with the vaccination programme to stop the worrying and get back to where we want to be which is a better normal life."

Cllr Simon Olander, Leader of  Diss Town Council 

Councillors are pleased with the turnout they've had so far, with people queuing outside the testing centre at Roydon Village Hall.