Richmond Council has warned residents not to travel to neighbouring Hounslow unless absolutely necessary, in line with updated government guidance.

It comes after surge testing was deployed in Hounslow in response to a sharp rise in cases of the Covid variant first detected in India, identified as B.1.617

The variant is thought to spread more easily from person to person.

The Government has asked people not to travel into the area, unless it is essential e.g. work (if you cannot work from home) or education.

Anyone who does need to travel into the Hounslow area is reminded to:

• Meet outside rather than inside where possible

• Keep two metres apart from people you don’t live with

• Get tested twice a week and isolate if you are positive

• Get vaccinated when you are offered it.

If you do display any symptoms of COVID-19, you should self-isolate immediately and arrange to have a PCR test as soon as possible.

Read more: London has lowest vaccine uptake in England, data reveals


Cllr Gareth Roberts, Leader of Richmond Council, said:

“I am disappointed that these new rules were introduced with no consultation or prior warning. Whilst I understand the situation is always changing, it is essential that changes to the rules are delivered in partnership with the relevant local area - rather than introduced by stealth.

“However, the new variant is concerning. And we need to support Hounslow to help them get it under control, whilst ensuring it does not spread into Richmond upon Thames.

“The rules are simple, do not travel to Hounslow unless you need to. And if you do, remember hands, face, space and ventilate and take a COVID rapid test twice a week.

“We will continue to monitor the situation in Hounslow carefully over the next few days.”

You can find more information here.