A NEW surge testing operation is due to launch in Woking today, covering addresses in Maybury and surrounding areas, after a positive result for the South African variant of COVID-19 was detected.

It follows the previous five-day, door-to-door testing initiative in areas of Goldsworth Park, Knaphill and St John’s, after two positive tests were recorded there, in a bid to track any spread of the new variant.

“By playing your part and taking the test, you’ll be helping to keep your community and your loved ones safe. Our previous surge testing operations have gone smoothly, with residents keen to do anything they can to help,” said Surrey’s director of public health, Ruth Hutchinson.

“It’s really important to say that there is currently no evidence that this variant causes more severe illness, so residents shouldn’t worry.”

As before, volunteers organised by the Surrey Local Resilience Forum will be knocking on local doors and handing out the free testing kits. The process will be explained to residents on the doorstep before testing kits are delivered and then collected later that day. The operation should run from Thursday, 18 February for several days, delivering 5,000 swab kits.

“This method of surge testing is vital in helping us understand any spread of the South African variant in the community,” added Mrs Hutchinson.

For residents in Maybury and the surge testing area, national restrictions remain the same as they have been since the lockdown began at the start of January.

A map of the selected area, and more information, is available at www.surreycc.gov.uk/surgetesting.