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Government of

Information and public services for the Island of Jersey

L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

Testing for COVID-19 variants (FOI)

Testing for COVID-19 variants (FOI)

Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 07 September 2021.
Prepared internally, no external costs.



What test is in place to identify Covid-19 variants? for example delta / Indian variant?


What is the difference in the testing for usual Covid to mutated variants?


How many people have tested positive for variants?


How many testing positive to new variant have been vaccinated and how many unvaccinated?



The SARS-Cov-2-Variant Sequencing and genotyping test is used to identify COVID-19 variants.


The tests we use to determine if COVID is present or not pick up both wild type and known variants. Sequencing or genotyping can then be undertaken on positives to determine what variant they represent. 

The PCR-RT process for sequencing is more complex, detailed and involved than the ‘normal’ PCR processing. It requires specialised equipment and consumables. The methods used detect the known variants.


The information as requested is not held in a format for the purpose of Freedom of Information. It has been assessed that any information held would be on individual patient records and the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 does not require a Scheduled Public Authority to manipulate data in order to provide a response. Article 3 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 therefore applies. It is estimated that to interrogate these records would far exceed the time limits prescribed under Regulation therefore Article 16 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 has also been applied.


This information is not held therefore Article 3 of Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 has been applied.

Articles applied

Article 3 - Meaning of “information held by a public authority”

For the purposes of this Law, information is held by a public authority if –

(a) it is held by the authority, otherwise than on behalf of another person; or

(b) it is held by another person on behalf of the authority.

Article 16 - A scheduled public authority may refuse to supply information if cost excessive

(1) A scheduled public authority that has been requested to supply information may refuse to supply the information if it estimates that the cost of doing so would exceed an amount determined in the manner prescribed by Regulations.

Regulation 2 (1) of the Freedom of Information (Costs) (Jersey) Regulations 2014 allows an authority to refuse a request for information where the estimated cost of dealing with the request would exceed the specified amount of the cost limit of £500. This is the estimated cost of one person spending 12.5 working hours in determining whether the department holds the information, locating, retrieving and extracting the information.

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