Health Secretary Matt Hancock told MPs in the House of Commons on Tuesday that a number of “mutations of concern” have been found in Bristol and Liverpool.
Hancock said that 32 cases were found in Liverpool with 11 in Bristol of coronavirus mutations. This comes after the more transmissible South African variant is spreading in parts of the UK.
Across eight postcodes some 80,000 people are to be tested for the virus, with Bristol and Liverpool being added.
Hancock told MPs, “In those areas where this variant has been found, parts of Broxbourne, London, Maidstone and Southport, Walsall and Woking we’re putting in extra testing and sequencing every positive test.
“Working with local authorities we’re going door to door to test everyone in those areas and mobile testing units will be deployed offering PCR tests to people who have to leave their home for work or other essential reasons.
“We have also seen 11 cases of mutations of concern in Bristol and 32 in Liverpool, and are taking the same approach.
“In all these areas it is imperative that people must stay at home and only leave home where it is absolutely essential.”
There are fears that the South African variant could be spreading throughout the country which has prompted health officials going door-to-door and are offering test kits.
Hancock said that the government will “come down hard” to stamp out the variant and has warned people to stay at home, and only leave if it is absoloutley necessary.
The Health Secretary added, “It is imperative that people must stay at home and only leave home where it is absolutely essential.
“When your local authority offers you a test, you should take up the offer, because we know that around one in three people with coronavirus have no symptoms but can still pass it on.”