Indian variant in UK 'poses a problem' says France's Le Drian
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Despite fears over the new Indian variant, most of the UK went ahead with the easing of restrictions on May 17. However, new government guidance has been issued to places where the variant is spreading fastest – here is all you need to know about the new variant and the new government guidance.
Parts of the UK have seen a rise in cases of what is known as the Indian variant.
This variant of the virus was first seen in India last year and has been spreading across the world.
The Indian variant is more contagious than the original virus, it spreads more easily from person to person.
This new Covid variant has affected certain parts of the UK more than others.
Do I live in an area where the new COVID-19 variant is spreading?
The government has identified eight areas in the UK where the variant is on the rise.
The new variant is spreading fastest in:
Bedford Borough Council
Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council
Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council
Burnley Borough Council
Leicester City Council
London Borough of Hounslow
North Tyneside Council.
As this new COVID-19 variant spreads more easily from person to person, the government has issued new guidance to those living in areas where the variant is on the rise.
What are the new guidelines if I live in an area where the new variant is on the rise?
If you live in an area where the new Covid variant is spreading the government has outlined three new rules that you should follow wherever possible.
1. Meet outside wherever possible, rather than inside
2. Maintain a two-metre distance from people who are not in your household unless you have formed a support bubble with them.
3. Avoid travelling to and from these affected areas, unless your journey is essential, such as for work purposes if you cannot work from home.
These new guidelines were published without official announcement on Friday.
They are not law, but the advice encourages people living in the areas most affected by the new strain not to meet indoors in an attempt to stop the spread of the highly-transmissible variant.
The move to Step 3 of the government’s map out of lockdown has eased restrictions across England including in the eight areas most affected by the new variant.
However, the advice from the government has been that we must continue to be cautious.
Cabinet minister Ms Coffey said: “The Prime Minister set out that we need to take extra caution in certain areas regarding the Indian variant.”
The new guidance essentially means that if you live in one of these eight areas you should be working from home, only socialising with members of your household unless it is outside with social distancing of two meters.
Government guidelines also recommend that everyone should be getting tested twice a week, such tests are free, and to then self-isolate at home if your test comes back positive.
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