Extra Covid testing for Birmingham as cases of South African variant confirmed

Credit: PA images

Coronavirus testing in parts of Birmingham will be 'significantly increasing' after cases of the South African variant were confirmed.

The city council said following 'extensive surveillance' of the virus, a small number of cases of the South African variant were found in the Frankley Great Park ward and parts of south Northfield.

They added they can’t be traced back to international travel.

The council is working closely with Public Health England and the national NHS Track and Trace team to curb any potential spread of this variant.

They are urging anyone over the age of 18, who is living or working in Frankley Great Park ward and part of south Northfield between Frankley, since 1 January 2021 to get tested, even if they are not showing symptoms.


This is what you can do if you live in the affected areas but currently have no symptoms:

  • Drive through testing is available at the St.Modwen testing site without an appointment from Thursday 3 February.

  • A further Mobile Test Unit will be opened on Friday.

  • The Council is also opening a series of designated sites for people to collect home testing kit to test at home and return to the same venue the same day for return to the lab.

  • They're also working with local businesses to make testing available for their staff in workplaces and employers are being written to with details of this this week.


This new variant from South Africa presents a new risk so it is essential that all adults in the affected areas takes up this offer of testing to help us contain the spread quickly. There is financial and practical support available for those who test positive and have to isolate and their contacts and it is vital we all play our part in controlling this new challenge.

Birmingham City Council, Director of Public Health Dr Justin Varney

It comes as door-to-door testing began in Walsall today (February 3) after the new strain was confirmed there earlier this week.

Walsall Council is also increasing testing and will be offered in a targeted and "intelligence-led way". A new testing centre has opened at Walsall College.


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