I hope residents are having an excellent week and have been enjoying the heat of the summer weather.

Surge testing has begun in the GU47 0 postcode area of Bracknell Forest, which aims to reduce the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19. This postcode has been prioritised for surge testing based on high infection rate, but low vaccine uptake.

This testing is just one way to help suppress and control the spread of the virus and new variants. We must all continue to be vigilant, and remember to follow the basics including: hands-face-space and fresh air, following national guidance, regular twice weekly rapid testing, self-isolating when required, and getting vaccinated when eligible.

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The surge testing also applies to staff and pupils at all the borough’s secondary schools as well as staff at all primary schools. Primary school children do not need to take part unless they attend Binfield CE Primary School, where case numbers have been rising. Schools across Bracknell Forest will be contacted by the council to arrange delivery of testing kits for pupils and staff.

I would also like to urge residents over the age of 11 (children in year 7) who are living or working in the GU47 0 postcode area to please come forward for a COVID-19 PCR test, provided you are not showing symptoms. This includes people who have had the vaccine as well as those who are doing regular lateral flow testing. If you have had a positive PCR test in the past 90 days, you do not need to come forward for testing.

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You can get a COVID-19 test at one of the surge test sites. There is no need to book and all the information you need is on our surge testing page.

Businesses will be contacted by the council to arrange delivery of testing kits for staff. If you have coronavirus symptoms or have had a positive lateral flow test you should continue to book a test on GOV.UK, through the NHS COVID-19 app or by calling 119.

I hope you stay safe and have a good week.