People who visited a KFC and church in Essex are being urged to get a PCR test after the Omicron variant was found in Brentwood. 

On Saturday the Government announced the Omicron variant had been found in Brentwood and Nottingham.

The individuals and all members of their households have been ordered to self-isolate.

Both cases are believed to be connected and there is a link to southern Africa.

A third case was confirmed on Sunday in a person who visited London but has since left the country.

Scientists have said they are concerned about the variant as it has around 30 different mutations – which is double the number present in the Delta variant.

The mutations contain features seen in all of the other variants but also traits that have not been seen before.

Today Essex County Council announced targeted testing of people who may have had contact with the individual. 

A branch of KFC in Brentwood High Street and Trinity Church in Pilgrim’s Hatch will be the focus of targeted testing.

Read more:

Testing will be overseen by regional UK Health Security Agency colleagues and Essex County Council’s Public Health Team, and additional PCR testing capacity will be available in Brentwood from tomorrow.  

Members of the congregation who attended Trinity Church on Sunday November 21, as well as staff, customers and delivery workers who visited the KFC on Brentwood High Street on Friday November 19, between 1pm and 5pm, must take a PCR test immediately. 

However, if an individual has tested positive in the past 90 days, they do not need to take another PCR test in this instance, unless they develop new Covid-19 symptoms. 

Anyone who has visited either of these venues and does Covid-19 symptoms, should isolate immediately and book a PCR test via They must isolate until they receive a negative result.

A Mobile Testing Unit (MTU) is being deployed to the KFC branch today to drop off test kits to staff. 

These tests must be registered online and any positive tests will be sent for genome sequencing to identify any potential further cases involving Omicron. 

Individuals who attended the church or KFC should attend the MTUs below but must do so only for drive-through appointments.  

  • Basildon Cherrydown Car Park Mobile Testing Unit (open 9AM – 4PM) – please book via the national system at 
  • The Brentwood Centre Mobile Testing Unit (open 9AM – 4PM) – no booking required

Dr Mike Gogarty, Essex County Council’s Director of Public Health, said: “Thanks to the excellent work of our contact tracers we have been able to identify three settings which are the focus of our attention for testing. 

“The aim is to understand what, if any, spread of the new variant within the local community may have occurred and limit the opportunity for any further spread. Robust contact tracing has taken place following identification of the single case. 

“While this work takes place, it is important that everyone takes sensible precautions – get a PCR test if you have symptoms, isolate when asked, wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces, ventilate rooms, get your vaccine and boosters as soon as you can. 

“It is important to break the chain of transmission as quickly as possible, which is the aim of the additional testing. The quickest way of doing this is for individuals who test positive to self-isolate immediately. 

“Even if you are feeling well, I would urge everyone to play their part to keep their community safe. If you are contacted, please follow the instructions on testing you are given as soon as possible.”