Covid: London surge testing extended as Delta variant fuels sharp rise in cases

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Surge testing will begin in Kingston upon Thames after a sharp rise in Covid cases driven by the Delta variant, first identified in India.

Kingston Council said all younger people who live, study and work in the London borough should take a PCR test whether or not they have symptoms.

All secondary school pupils, along with primary, secondary and nursery staff and their households, will be offered PCR home testing kits, the council said.

Around 90,000 kits will be delivered to schools and other key settings across the borough, over the next three weeks. 

Residents aged 19-24 who can't get a test through their workplace or school can book a test online.

"We have seen the highest rates of coronavirus across Kingston emerging amongst younger ages, which is why we are urging people in these groups to get tested," said Iona Lidington, Director of Public Health at Kingston Council.

"Everybody in the borough, including those not specifically targeted within this initiative, can also get tested at any of our testing sites.

“In Kingston, both our testing and vaccine uptakes have consistently been above average, demonstrating the collective commitment of our borough to defeat this virus," she added.

Kingston is the latest London borough to announce extra measures to try and control the spread of the Delta variant.  

In May, PCR testing was rolled out in postcodes within Harrow, Ealing, Hillingdon and Brent.