COVID-19 variants of concerns update

24 May 2021

North-west London boroughs, including Brent, are seeing a rise in the rates of new COVID-19 variants.

As a result, surge testing has been turned on in the following wards:

  • St Raphaels
  • Stonebridge
  • Wembley North
  • Wembley West
  • Alperton West
  • Tokyngton
  • Kensal Green

We will shortly be delivering leaflets with information about vaccines and testing to homes in these wards.

Get vaccinated

The best way to protect yourself, your friends and your family is to get vaccinated.

Anyone over the age of 32 can now book their first jab on the NHS website or walk-in to a vaccination centre. Age criteria changes regularly, please check the latest guidance on the NHS website.

GPs are sending invites, and we will be working with the NHS to promote further vaccine bus dates, as well as pop-up vaccination events in areas with low uptake.

Most mass vaccination centres across North West London are providing a walk-in service for first doses and are open from 9am to 7pm. The large vaccination centres in Brent, which is now giving out the Pfizer vaccine, is at Wembley Vaccination Centre: Olympic Office Centre, 8 Fulton Rd, Wembley, London, HA9 0NU.

Walk-ins should bring ID and their NHS number if they have it (although this is not essential).

Those who have had their first dose via a walk-in will be able to book their second vaccine at 8 weeks, 48 hours later using

Test twice a week

Surge testing has been turned on in affected areas. We strongly encourage everyone to get tested for coronavirus twice a week, even if they don’t have any symptoms.

Order at-home tests at or visit a testing site. All London sites will now test people who do not have symptoms.

Those with symptoms should get tested by calling 020 8937 4440 or booking online at

Those who test positive may be eligible for a £500 support payment if they are on a lower income and cannot go to work because they are self-isolating. 

By using PCR testing, positive results can be sent for genomic sequencing at specialist laboratories, helping us identify variant of concern (VOC) cases and their spread.

Staying safe

We are urging everyone to continue to follow social distance guidelines – remember, Hands, Face, Space and Fresh Air.


We are working with Alperton Community, Preston Manor, Michaela Community and Lycee International De Londres schools to encourage students and staff take a PCR test before the half term break.

Professor Kevin Fenton, London Regional Director for Public Health England, said:

“Following close monitoring of cases across London of the variant of concern first identified in India, we have decided to take early preventative action in five North West London boroughs. Surge testing was announced for Hounslow earlier this week and we are now also mobilising surge testing in targeted settings and areas in Brent, Ealing, Harrow and Hillingdon.

“Rates of COVID-19 in London remain low overall but variant cases are present in many parts of the city. As such, we are continuously assessing situations on a local, sub-regional and city-wide level so we can act early and decisively to prevent cases from spreading.

“If you are asked to come forward for a PCR test as part of the effort in these areas, please get tested, even if you don’t have symptoms. If your test is positive, self-isolate immediately and engage with contact tracers to help stop the spread of variants in the local community.

“If everyone plays their part by continuing to follow the public health advice in their local area, and getting vaccinated when invited, we can break chains of transmission and keep all of London safe.”