COVID-19 testing is being stepped-up in the district as concerns rise among health experts over the Indian variant of the virus.

Residents will be able to attend walk-in mobile testing units, without the need to book an appointment.

And Bradford Council staff will be going door-to-door handing out so-called PCR home testing kits, which are highly accurate, encouraging people to get tested even if they don’t have any symptoms.

A council spokesman said: “The door-to-door team will be easily recognisable, with a purple People Can jacket and carrying Bradford Council identification.

“The teams will, with consent, either provide residents with a test to administer in the privacy of their own home or will administer it for them. Residents will also be given the opportunity to defer testing to the next day, if more convenient.”

The council adds that it is continuing to work hard, in partnership with NHS Test and Trace and Public Health England, to detect and isolate cases of the variant.

Bradford is among a number of areas across the country which have volunteered to take part in enhanced testing to reduce the spread of the variant.

The move also includes enhanced contact tracing.

Council leader, Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, says: “We’ve all heard about this new variant, which is spreading rapidly throughout the country.

“We know we have cases in the Bradford district and inevitably these will increase.

“I am asking everyone, across all our communities, to protect themselves and their families by getting tested. And when you’re offered the vaccination please take it up as soon as you can to help reduce the spread of the virus. We all need to follow the guidelines and protect our local community.

“While additional testing is under way, everyone is being asked to be extra vigilant for any Covid-19 symptoms. As with any variant of Covid-19, the guidance remains the same. We must all continue to regularly wash our hands, use face coverings when appropriate, keep our distance from others when outside the house and ventilate rooms with fresh air.”

If you or anyone in your household develops a high temperature, a new continuous cough and a loss of or change to the sense of smell/taste, access a Covid-19 test as soon as possible, even if you have recently had a negative test result.