Oxford told to 'minimise travel' as surge testing brought in to control Covid after fears bug cases are rising

OXFORD residents have been told to "minimise travel" over fears Covid cases are "significantly" rising.

Surge testing is also being deployed in the city from Monday to curb the spread of the virus.

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Those living in affected areas are being advised not to travel in and out where possible, in order to "keep their loved ones and communities safe".

This approach has also been deployed in areas across the North West, and in Bedford and Birmingham.

Extra tests – for people with and without symptoms – will be available from next week.

The additional measures are aimed at "slowing down the rate of Covid-19 infection in this area" – and to allow more time for people to get both vaccines.

Health Minister Lord Bethell said: "Working closely with the local authority, we are providing a strengthened package of support in Oxford.

"We know this approach can work and it is based on our successful partnerships with other areas where there was a significant rise in cases.

"This extra support is intended to help slow the rate of infection as restrictions are lifted, allowing more people to get double jabbed.

"The most important thing that people in this area can do is take a test if they are offered to do so, practise hands, face, space and fresh air, and get their jab – the vaccine is building a wall of protection around us all."

 

It comes as Covid hospital admissions reach the highest since March – with 509 new patients in the past 24 hours.

Cases have today risen by 35,707 – the biggest daily jump in almost six months. 

Infections are up 30 per cent in a week, as deaths jumped by 29. 

The increase in daily cases is the highest since January 22, when the UK was in lockdown.

And Delta variant cases have shot up by 54,000 in a week.

The UK's official R rate has gone up to 1.5 – meaning every 10 people infected will infect between 12 and 15 other people, on average.

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