The new notice – which is unsupported by law – was posted on the gov.uk website without an official announcement and only appeared on Monday, when the MEN reported it.
People are also urged not to meet indoors in the eight affected areas where the new variant is spreading rapidly.
The full list of the eight areas people should avoid entering and exiting are as follows:
- Bedford Borough Council
- Blackburn avec Darwen Borough Council
- Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council
- Burnley Borough Council
- Kirklees Council
- Leicester City Council
- Borough londonien de Hounslow
- Conseil North Tyneside
The advice on the gov.uk site states: “The new Covid-19 variant spreads more easily from person to person.
“To help stop the spread, you need to be especially careful when meeting someone outside of your home or the supportive bubble.
To register, simply click on this link, enter your email address and follow the instructions
“In the areas listed above, where possible, you should try to:
- meet outside rather than inside when possible
- stand two feet away from people you don’t live with (unless you’ve formed a supportive bubble with them), this includes friends and family you don’t live with
- Avoid traveling in and out of affected areas unless it is essential, for example for work (if you cannot work from home) or for study. ”
The advice goes on to urge people to “get tested for free twice a week and self-isolate if you test positive, continue working from home if you can and get vaccinated when offered and encourage the others to do it too ”.
People with symptoms of coronavirus should arrange a PCR test. And people in all eight areas should participate in surge testing, he adds.
Even if you don’t have any symptoms, you should have regular rapid tests. People should “self-isolate immediately if you have symptoms or test positive for Covid-19”. The government says there is financial support if you are absent from work due to the coronavirus.
Blackburn’s director of public health, Professor Dominic Harrison, tweeted that local authority areas affected by the guidelines were “not consulted, notified, notified or alerted” to changes in the instruction.
North Tyneside Director of Public Health Wendy Burke said local authorities had “questioned” the information with the Department of Health and Welfare to “seek clarification”.
The government insisted, however, that the recommendations were first issued on May 14 – Prime Minister Boris Johnson urging residents of affected areas to be “extremely careful” – before being “officially” posted online. last week.
Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer said failure to alert local leaders was “utter shame”.
Cabinet Minister Therese Coffey told Sky News: “The Prime Minister has said that we need to be more careful in some areas regarding the Indian variant.
“It is good practice to officially put these guidelines in records that affect these communities.
“We work closely together, so I’m surprised to hear people think it came out of nowhere – it didn’t.
“This is about formally formalizing the guidelines that we think people can and should follow in order to ensure that we tackle and don’t spread the Indian variant further.”
West Yorkshire Labor Mayor Tracy Brabin said she expected Health Secretary Matt Hancock to explain to Parliament what is happening with the new directions.
The politician told BBC Breakfast: “This is another example of what the government is doing to us without working with us.
“It caused a lot of confusion. We were not alerted by journalists until late last night.
“Sadly, this is yet another example of the government and its chaotic response to Covid.”
The Health Secretary is expected to brief MPs later today.