The Government has announced that additional COVID-19 measures, including surge testing, tracing, isolation support and maximising vaccine uptake, are to be deployed across Greater Manchester and all Lancashire County Council areas.
The new interventions, which will be led by local authorities, follow extensive COVID-19 surveillance which has detected a number of cases of the Delta (B1.617.2) variant in these communities.
‘Working with local authorities, we are providing a strengthened package of support, based on what is working in Bolton, to help Greater Manchester and Lancashire tackle the rise in the Delta variant that we are seeing there. This includes Rapid Response Teams, putting in extra testing, military support and supervised in-school testing,’ said the health and social care secretary Matt Hancock.
‘I want to encourage everyone in Greater Manchester and Lancashire to get the tests on offer. We know that this approach can work – we have seen it work in South London and in Bolton in stopping a rise in the number of cases.’
‘This is the next stage of tackling the pandemic in Greater Manchester and in Lancashire, and of course it is vital that people in these areas, as everywhere, come forward and get the jab as soon as they are eligible because that is our way out of the pandemic together,’ he added.
Chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency Dr Jenny Harries commented: ‘This variant is now the dominant strain of this virus across the UK, with cases continuing to rise in some areas.
‘The most important thing that people in these areas can do is remain cautious, work from home if possible and remember to practise hands, face, space and fresh air.
‘Getting the vaccine gives a strong level of protection against this variant and I strongly recommend that everyone gets the jab when the NHS invites you – it will protect you and your loved ones.’