A "VERY small number" of cases of the Indian variant of Covid-19 have been found in Basildon.

Essex County Council say all contacts of the cases were traced and tested and that the situation is "well controlled".

The news comes after Southend Council confirmed a case of the Indian variant in the borough this morning.

County Hall has said that there has been no spread of cases between Southend and other surrounding areas.

A spokesman said: “Essex has had no problems as far as we are aware with receiving data and our work in collaboration with NIHP colleagues is excellent. We have one of the strongest local track and trace operations in the country.

“At this stage we do not believe there has been any spread of cases in Southend to surrounding locations including Basildon. The situation across Essex remains well-controlled.

"A very small number of cases of the VoC B.1617.2 variant were identified in Basildon some weeks ago and all contacts traced and tested.

“We would encourage everyone to get vaccinated when invited, that everyone observes social distancing where-ever possible and that people test regularly using the LFD home tests which are widely and easily available.”