A statement from Dr Rebecca Howell-Jones, Acting Director of Public Health

Herefordshire council is issuing an urgent warning to anyone who has travelled into the county in the past few days from a Covid-19 Tier 4 area or Wales. They are being urged to act as though they have the virus and isolate for 10 days.

There is a new variant of the Covid-19 virus which has spread very quickly across London and the south east. This strain is more easily spread and therefore has the potential to put more people at risk and place more pressure on NHS services.

Acting Director of Public Health for Herefordshire, Dr Rebecca Howell-Jones, said:

“We don’t know whether this strain has reached Herefordshire but a lot of people have been on the move to different parts of the country in recent days and they could be carrying the virus.

“Travel restrictions are now in place in those areas where it is known to be, but anyone who travelled from London and the South East, in particular, to Herefordshire may have the new strain without knowing.

“Therefore I am asking anyone who has travelled here from a Tier 4 area or Wales since Saturday, to self-isolate for 10 days in the house they are in. This means they MUST NOT go out at all and must not mix with anyone else for those 10 days. No visitors should come to the house at all.”

Other people who live in the house do not need to self-isolate. If anyone develops coronavirus symptoms they should book a test by calling 119 or book a test online.

Everyone is being asked to continue following the guidance on regular hand washing, face coverings and social distancing. It is also important to stay local and reduce the number of people they see.

Dr Howell-Jones added:

“There is light at the end of the tunnel. The vaccine programme has already started rolling out in Herefordshire and I urge people to take up the offer. It will be some months before the virus is under control, but please continue the fantastic work you’ve already done to keep infection rates low.”

For the latest information on Covid-19 and Tier guidance visit the government coronavirus website