Skip to main content

FAQs: the Delta (VOC-21APR-02) Coronavirus variant

What is the Delta variant (VOC-21APR-02) of Coronavirus? 

The Delta variant (VOC-21APR-02) of Coronavirus was first identified in India in October 2020. It has been categorised as a variant of concern by the World Health Organization. 

What leads to a Coronavirus variant being categorised as a variant of concern? 

All viruses mutate. Usually, these mutations are so small that they have little impact on the way the virus behaves. 

Sometimes, however, mutations can alter the behaviour of a virus. For example, a virus may mutate in a way that allows it to spread more quickly. In cases like this, a variant may then be identified as a variant of concern. 

Is the Delta variant (VOC-21APR-02) more transmissible than other Coronavirus variants? 

The most recent evidence suggests that the Delta variant (VOC-21APR-02) is more transmissible than the previously dominant Alpha (or Kent) variant. There are concerns that we are beginning to see localised community transmission, and increasing evidence of cases with no travel history. 

Does the Delta variant (VOC-21APR-02) cause more severe disease than other variants? 

The latest evidence does not suggest that the Delta variant (VOC-21APR-02) is more harmful than the Alpha variant, which was first identified in Kent. 

How many cases of the Delta variant (VOC-21APR-02) have been reported Wales? 

The number of Delta variant (VOC-21APR-02) cases reported in Wales is listed on the variant surveillance tab of the Public Health Wales dashboard, which is updated at 12pm every Tuesday and Thursday. 

Is the vaccine effective against the Delta variant (VOC-21APR-02)? 

The latest evidence suggests that the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines are effective against the Delta variant (VOC-21APR-02) after two doses. It is important to have both doses of the Coronavirus vaccine when they are offered to you to maximise protection.  

How do I protect myself against the Delta variant (VOC-21APR-02)? 

The variant may be different, but the way we protect ourselves hasn’t changed. Keep yourself and your loved ones safe by:  

  • taking up the offer of a vaccine 
  • keeping two metres away from those you don’t live with 
  • wearing a face covering when required 
  • washing your hands regularly 

Will the standard Coronavirus tests pick up the Delta variant (VOC-21APR-02)?  

Yes. The PCR and lateral flow tests used in Wales will detect this new variant. 

How long do I need to self-isolate for if I think I have the Delta variant? 

If you have the Delta variant then contact tracers, based on risk assessment, may ask you to self-isolate for up to 14 days as a precautionary basis.   

Will there be more Coronavirus variants in the future? 

This is not the first variant of Coronavirus and is unlikely to be the last.