Surge testing is set to begin in the N3 postcode of Barnet after the South African variant of Covid-19 was detected.

Barnet Council has said on its website that testing for the variant will start from Thursday, April 15 after a single case was identified.

The council said: "The South African variant of Covid-19 has been found in Barnet.

"From Thursday 15 April we will start testing people for this variant in specific postcode areas affected in N3 or those who shop on the local high street." 

It said teams of officials will go door-to-door in areas in the N3 postcode to deliver PCR test kits, and a mobile testing unit will be set up in the car park of Finchley Central Station.

The N3 area covers Finchley Central and West Finchley.

The testing unit will be open from 8am to 3pm 7 days a week.

The opening times may change on Saturday, April 17 due to Prince Philip's funeral.

Across London, thousands of residents have queued to take coronavirus tests at additional facilities set up after new cases of the South African variant were found in several boroughs.

Some 44 confirmed cases of the variant have been found in Lambeth and Wandsworth, with a further 30 probable cases identified, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said.

The one confirmed case of the South African variant of coronavirus detected in Barnet is unrelated to the cluster detected in south London, Barnet Council has said.

Downing Street has insisted the outbreak is being taken “very seriously” and “strong measures” have been put in place to prevent it spreading.