Covid: 18-30s in Brighton urged to get tested as cases rise

SURGE testing is being rolled out in the city amid a spike in cases of Covid-19 among young people.

Anyone between the ages of 18-30 who lives in Brighton and Hove is being asked to take a coronavirus PCR test, whether or not they have symptoms.

Infections rose from 498 cases in the week to June 24 to 1,119 cases in the week to July 1, according to government data.

The city’s director of public health, Alistar Hill, says he is “really concerned how quickly cases are escalating.”

He said: “We now have one of the highest rates in the south east.

“With nearly all lockdown restrictions being lifted in the next two weeks we need to act now before the situation gets worse.

“Cases are rising fastest among younger people who have not yet had the chance to have both vaccinations.

“To help stop the spread we have made the decision to ask all those aged 18 to 29 to take proactive action and get a PCR test over the next few weeks.”

Mr Hill added that while vaccines are working “really well against the virus”, many young people are still not fully vaccinated.

He said: “We’ve set up testing sites in the city centre to make it easier for those who are working or socialising in the city’s bars and restaurants to test.

“One in three people with Covid don’t have any symptoms so won’t think they need to test. While you might feel fine, you could still be spreading the virus onto everyone you’ve come into contact with. Getting tested will help to break the chain of transmission and keep people safe.

“There are still vulnerable people who could become very unwell if they get Covid.”

Leader of Brighton and Hove City Council, Phélim Mac Cafferty said he recognised that people are fed up with Covid and want to get back to normal but this is a “critical time for the city”.

“Over the last few weeks a number of venues in the city have had to shut due to Covid-19. Most because of the numbers of staff needing to self-isolate after being in contact with people who didn’t realise they had the virus.

“Making PCR tests available in the city centre means you can get a test while you are out in the city or meeting others.”

The walk-in sites will be open from 12 noon everyday:

• Peace Statue, Hove seafront, BN3 2WN Usually open 12noon until 7pm every day

• Jubilee Square, Jubilee Street, Brighton BN1 1GE Usually open 12noon until 5pm every day

The Argus | Brighton and Hove news