B.1.351 (Commonly Known as South African) COVID Variant - When did Councils learn of the Enhanced Surge Testing

Mark Gale made this Freedom of Information request to Department of Health and Social Care

Automatic anti-spam measures are in place for this older request. Please let us know if a further response is expected or if you are having trouble responding.

Gwrthodwyd y cais gan Department of Health and Social Care.

Dear Department of Health and Social Care,

On Monday 1st February at the 5pm Downing Street Briefing, Matt Hancock repeated the News of a number of cases of B.1.351 strain had been found that could not be traced to incoming travel from South Africa.

I have found the public statement reported around 1:40pm on Monday 1st February from PHE, that much of the media started to push out shortly after.

Can you answer the following questions?

1. When did you inform Merton Council of this news, requiring them to surge enhanced test residents and workers within an area of Merton.
2. Was this on a one by one basis with each council, or a conference call / zoom meeting etc talking to all the areas eg: Ealing, Haringey, Merton, Woking (Surrey County Council?)
3. If it was on a one by one basis, do you know the order that councils were told of the issue.
4. Merton Council did not make ANY comment on social media platforms or their own website on Monday 1st February at all, leaving residents worried, confused, and in the dark until the following day. Where other councils were ahead of the game - eg even testing on the Monday, is there a reasonable explanation why Merton Council could not be in the same position as other councils in commenting, and responding to your announcement.

Thank you in advance for your help, stay safe.

Yours faithfully,

Mark Gale

Department of Health and Social Care

Our ref: DE-1303018
 
Dear Mr Gale,
 
Thank you for your correspondence of 9 February about the new covid
variant. I asked to reply.

The Freedom of Information Act only applies to recorded information such
as paper or electronic archive material.  As your correspondence asked for
general information, rather than requesting recorded information or
documentation, it did not fall under the provisions of the Act.

I apologise I cannot be more of a direct assistance.

Yours sincerely,
 
Lucy Ogan
Ministerial Correspondence and Public Enquiries
Department of Health and Social Care
 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

FreedomofInformation, Department of Health and Social Care

Dear Mr Gale,

Thank you for your email.

The Freedom of Information Act only applies to recorded information such as paper or electronic archive material. As your correspondence asked for general information and an explanation rather than requesting recorded information or documentation, it did not fall under the provisions of the Act. It will be answered as general correspondence in due course.

Yours sincerely,

FOI Team
Department of Health and Social Care

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir