Surrey residents are being urged to take a Covid-19 PCR test following a rise in cases of the Delta variant. 

Surge testing will be carried out in Reigate and Banstead and will last until Sunday, the Department of Health has said.

The specific areas being targeted include Banstead, Walton-on-the-Hill, Tattenham Corner and Reigate town. 

It means anyone who lives or works in these areas should try to get tested whether or not they have symptoms. 

All confirmed cases have been instructed to self-isolate and their contacts have been identified, the Department of Health added. 

The Reigate and Banstead Borough Council website says: ‘Case rates in the borough have been increasing for the past few weeks, particularly in the younger age groups, and an increasing number of these are the Delta variant, which is more transmissible than the Alpha (Kent) strain.’

The Delta strain – first detected in India – has taken a firm hold in Britain and is continuing to spread across the country. 

Research suggests it is between 30% and 100% more transmissible than the Alpha variant, first detected in Kent. 

It comes after Thursday saw daily Covid infections in the UK pass 11,000 for the first time since February, while deaths were the highest in a month.

A total of 11,007 new cases were reported yesterday, which is the highest daily toll since February 19, when 12,027 people tested positive.

The latest Department of Health figures also showed another 19 people lost their lives within 28 days of testing positive.

That was the highest number since May 11, when 20 people died after catching the virus. 

It comes after figures released this week showed the UK has the highest daily rate of Covid infections in Europe.

The statistics showed that 107.3 people per million tested positive per day on average over the last seven-day period, outpacing neighbours such as Spain. 

From today, everyone over the age of 18 is eligible to book their vaccines in a bid to bring cases back down.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected]

For more stories like this, check our news page.