Surge Status Ends Early in Hounslow Borough

Over 50,000 residents vaccinated during four week enhanced response

People queueing for vaccinations in the borough at the start of the programme
People queueing for vaccinations in the borough at the start of the programme

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he government has announced that Hounslow borough’s Enhanced Response (Surge) Area status is to come to an end a week earlier than planned.

An enhanced programme of testing and vaccination was introduced in the borough when a number of cases of the Delta Variant of Concern (VoC) were identified last month in the area.

This meant that extra funding was given to efforts to tackle the virus. 53,000 people were vaccinated in the borough since it was given surge status on 23 May.

It is understood that from 21 June fewer PCR tests will be available in the borough with lateral flow tests being used again. The PCR tests allowed the variant of Covid-19 to be identified but as the Delta VoC now confirmed as the dominant strain in the area this is no longer necessary.

Hounslow Council’s Leader, Cllr Steve Curran, said, “Around 53,000 vaccinations have been given in the borough over the past four weeks alone. Over 100,000 residents are now fully vaccinated. The Government’s decision recognises the incredible efforts everyone has made to ‘Step Up For Hounslow’. With our partners, Hounslow Council mobilised at terrific speed to deliver this excellent work, and it is because of the fantastic, committed response of residents that Government has been able to bring Hounslow's surge status to an early close.

“But while the virus continues, there can be no room for complacency. This is the end of our surge status, but it must not be the end of our work together to defeat the virus. That is why I’m appealing to everyone; Don't Blow It. Keep getting regular LFT rapid tests. Get vaccinated when you can. Follow the rules and remember the importance of hands, face, space.”

Professor Kevin Fenton, London Regional Director for Public Health England, said, “The progress in Hounslow is very encouraging and a brilliant example of how effective we can be when we all pull together. We need to see that unity across London now, with as many people as possible coming forward for the vaccine over the coming weeks.

“It remains the most powerful and effective tool to protect yourself and your family, so please come forward if you have not already done so, including for your important second dose, and encourage others to do the same.”

A mass PCR testing event with Brentford Football Club at the Club’s Community Stadium on Saturday 19 June effectively marked the end of the initiatives launched during surge status in the borough.

Residents who ‘Stepped Up For Hounslow’ during the borough's Surge PCR testing and vaccination period can benefit from enhanced Test and Trace Self-Isolation Payments if they are on a low income, need to self-isolate but can't work from home. Hounslow residents contacted by NHS Test and Trace or the Council during Surge activity in the borough may be eligible for the enhanced Test and Trace Self Isolation Payment of up to £1,000. Previously the amount eligible residents could claim was £500. The payments are for those who have had to self-isolate during Surge status (between Sunday 23 May and Monday 21 June). All PCR tests must be returned within two weeks of the end of surge if residents wish to claim the higher payment, which can be claimed for up to six weeks after any self-isolation is required. For more information click here.

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June 20, 2021

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