GETHIN Jones has pulled out of presenting Morning Live due to a surge in coronavirus cases where he lives in London.
The 43-year-old TV host revealed he had been "affected by surge coronavirus testing" and therefore had opted to stay at home.
BBC Show Morning Live saw Gethin join live via video link as co-host Kym Marsh presented alongside regular stand-in Rav Wilding.
Kym introduced the show, saying: "No Gethin today – he lives in an area affected by the surge testing but keeping his seat very warm is our Rav."
"Good morning, thanks for having me," Rav quipped back. "I can tell you these sofas are more comfortable than those chairs."
Gethin later joined the programme, admitting he felt it was "the right thing" to stay home and take a COVID test due to the surging numbers.
As Kym said he was "missed", the Welsh presenter said his negative test result meant he will be returning to Morning Live tomorrow.
"I miss you too," he told his co-host. "It's very strange this morning, getting up and not going to work but as you've just said it's the right thing to do.
"I am in an area where we've been asked to do our PCR test. I'm delighted to say that I've already had the test back and it is negative, so I will be back tomorrow.
"It's really weird isn't it, Kym? We were chatting yesterday about being excited to do the normal things and how lovely it was to get a haircut.
"So many people were talking about going out for a drink, but as Doctor Xand, Doctor Rupy, Dr Punam have been saying – we are making some brilliant, positive developments with the fight against COVID, but we need to proceed with caution.
"So, following the guidelines, we are so super safe at work, we follow the guidelines outside of work but we just have to be careful the whole time."
He signed off: "It's a bit weird watching you from home, but I know you've got a great show ahead."
It comes as surge testing has been extended to another area in London after the South African variant was discovered.
From today, tests will now be deployed in Southwark as well as Wandsworth and Lambeth due to a significant "cluster" of cases.
The government said it is the "largest surge testing operation to date" aimed at suppressing any possible new cases of the variant.
Dr Kevin Fenton, Regional Director of Public Health, NHS London said the cluster of cases in parts of South London was linked to a variant first identified in South Africa.
He added: "It’s really important people in the local area play their part in stopping any further spread within the local community.
"PCR testing is now available for all and I would strongly encourage everyone in Southwark who is invited to take part to get tested, even if they don’t have any symptoms of coronavirus.
"Around 1 in 3 people with Covid-19 don’t show any symptoms. By taking part you can protect yourselves and your loved ones and help us identify any possible new cases that would otherwise be missed, preventing further transmission and saving lives."
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