SURGE testing will take place in North Tyneside following cases of the Indian covid variant.

Matt Hancock announced the deployment of surge testing in more areas of the country including Hounslow, Leicester and North Tyneside.

He told the Commons: “In the last week across Bolton and Blackburn with Darwen we have given 26,094 jabs as well as delivering 75,000 extra tests.

“But this challenge is not restricted to Bolton and Blackburn. We have used the extensive bio-security surveillance system that we have built and new techniques to identify the areas we are most concerned about where we will now surge testing and vaccinations further.”

Mr Hancock continued: “As a result of all this analysis, I can tell the House that we will now have surge testing and vaccinations in Bedford, Burnley, Hounslow, Kirklees, Leicester and North Tyneside – and we are supporting the Scottish Government, who are taking similar action in Glasgow and Moray.

“What this means in practice is we are putting in place more testing and more testing sites. On vaccinations, we are making more vaccinations available to everyone who is eligible.”

The Health Secretary added that “we are not yet opening up vaccinations to those who are 35 and younger”.

It comes after customers of a popular North-East bar have been asked to take a Covid-19 test after a case of the Indian variant was linked to the premises.

Anyone who visited Allard’s Lounge in Tynemouth between April 23 and May 3 has been urged to book a PCR test.

Public Health England and North Tyneside Council said: “One of the cases in an outbreak linked to the premises has been identified as having the Indian variant.”