ondoners were today urged to get tested for Covid-19 to protect the city from the South African variant as surge testing was extended to a third borough.

Additional testing sites, some of them mobile, are also being rolled out in Wandsworth and Lambeth where dozens of cases of the SA variant virus have been identified.

Health chiefs believe the SA mutation may be more resistant to vaccines but the jabs, including the Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna inoculations which have been approved in the UK, are thought to still offer significant protection against severe disease.

So ministers and health chiefs are urging Londoners to get vaccinated, when offered the jab, as well as tested, and to keep following lockdown rules.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Driving down variant cases is essential to beating this virus. Thank you to everyone in Lambeth, Wandsworth and parts of Southwark for their support for surge testing in their local area.

“Londoners have shown incredible resolve time and again throughout this pandemic. Please do get a test and when you get the call, get the jab.”

Lambeth’s director of public health Ruth Hutt said: “It’s in all our best interests for people to get tested to protect Lambeth and London so we can continue with the progress that we have made in combating Covid-19.”

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