MORE than 1,000 people were tested on the first day of a surge operation in Stockton which was launched after a case of South African Covid-19 variant was found. 

The surge testing was announced yesterday and is set to run until Wednesday, March 17.

Stockton Council said more than 1,000 people had come forward on the first day. 

The extra testing started today after a case of the South African variant was found in the TS19 postcode. 

Anyone aged over 16 who lives in the TS19 postcode area is urged to come forward and book a test, even if they do not have symptoms.

Council leader councillor Bob Cook said: “We’ve had a great response and I’d like to thank everyone who has come forward to get a test so far.

“The testing centre at Splash in Stockton – which has capacity of more than 800 tests per day – was fully booked today. The new mobile testing unit at Tithebarn House in Hardwick has been very busy too.

“If you are aged 16 or over and live in the TS19 postcode area and you haven’t yet booked a test, then we’d encourage you to do so. The more cases we find, the better chance we have of suppressing this variant.”

Tests can be booked at one of the existing testing centres at Stockton Splash, Billingham Forum or Thornaby Pavilion, or at a new mobile testing unit in Hardwick.

For details of how to book a test visit