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Advice if planning to travel to areas of the UK where the new variant is spreading

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There are no known cases of the new ‘Indian’ variant of coronavirus within Devon at this moment, but as people plan to visit friends and families during the half term holiday, Public Health Devon is advising people to be cautious.

The new variant, which was first identified in India, spreads more easily between people.

Currently those cases are highest in council areas of Bedford, Blackburn with Darwen, Bolton, Burnley, Kirklees, Leicester, London Borough of Hounslow, and North Tyneside.

In those areas, public health leads and the local NHS are boosting testing and vaccinations, and supporting people to self-isolate.

Steve Brown, Director of Public Health Devon
Steve Brown, Director of Public Health Devon

“If you must travel to any of those locations, please be extra cautious,” said Steve Brown, Director of Public Health Devon.

“Try to meet outside with family or friends rather than inside where possible. And please keep 2 metres apart from people that you don’t live with (unless you have formed a support bubble with them), and this includes friends and family who you do not live with.

“Lateral flow tests are quick and easy to do. Making them part of your regular weekly routine – especially when catching up with friends and family – will help to identify positive cases among people who may not be showing symptoms, so that they can self-isolate.

“If you are away visiting friends and family this holiday, please remember to take tests with you, and take them again on your return home. Testing and self-isolating if positive are how we stop the virus spreading.”

For more information about how to get a rapid, lateral flow device test in Devon, visit