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Coronavirus ‘mutations of concern’ identified in Bristol

The Health Secretary has said it will take the ‘same approach’ to tackle the mutations as where the South African variant was found.

By Epigram Reporters

New mutations of coronavirus have been identified in Bristol and Liverpool, prompting an increase in community testing.

The Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, has today announced that Bristol is among parts of the UK where mutations of coronavirus have been identified.

In a statement to the Commons, he said 11 were identified in Bristol and 32 in Liverpool, declaring the government was to take the ‘same approach’ to tackle the issue as the postcodes that have found the South African variant – across which approximately 80,000 people are receiving door-to-door testing.

In a statement to the Commons, he said it is ‘imperative that people must stay at home and only leave home where it is absolutely essential’ in the areas where mutations have been found.

He added: ‘When your local authority offers you a test you should take up the offer, because we know that one in three people with coronavirus have no symptoms but can still pass it on.

‘We’re offering testing to everyone aged 16 and over, even if you have been vaccinated.

‘And if you live in one of those areas but have not been contacted and you’re unsure if you should have a test, I encourage you to visit your local authority website to find out.’

Mr Hancock stressed there is ‘no evidence’ the South African variant is any more lethal than the original virus, though it is thought to be more transmissible.

The news comes as Bristol City Council have implemented a number of ‘Days of Action’ across the city to ensure there is even tighter compliance with lockdown regulation.

This will involve officers from Avon & Somerset Police joining COVID marshals to patrol the city, offering guidance and more stringently enforcing compliance with lockdown rules where necessary.

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The Council have said since the start of the current national lockdown, 8,000 premises have been visited by police across the city, with eight prohibition notices being issues and 12 penalty notices to businesses found to be breaching lockdown measures.

Last month, Avon & Somerset police had to break up an illegal lockdown gathering by Bristol students at one of the University-owned residences.

Since then, Bristol University have announced that their security staff will wear body cameras in an effort to clamp down on enforcing the rules among the student community.

Featured Image: Lucas Arthur

Are you currently living in Bristol? Check the Bristol City Council website for further updates.