Despite more than 40 countries recently closing their borders to travellers from the UK, cases of the new variant Covid-19 virus have been confirmed in several European countries, including Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. All of the confirmed cases were linked to people who had arrived from the UK.
The revelations take the total number of new countries impacted by the new variant to 15, with South Korea the latest nation to announce a confirmed case.
According to Reuters, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCPA) found traces of the United Kingdom (UK) variant in three individuals from London who entered South Korea on December 22.
Meanwhile, both Canada and Japan have also announced that they have found traces of the new Covid-19 strain in their countries. What is most alarming about Canada’s announcement is that the individual in which the new variant was discovered has no known travel history and exposure or high-risk contact.
Scientists from the Independent Sage group have urged all regions of England to be placed under tier 4 restrictions, meaning that non-essential shops, hairdressers, and leisure and entertainment venues cannot operate.
With evidence emerging that the new variant appears to be particularly infectious among children, teaching unions have urged for schools to remain closed.
Speaking about the new variant, Paul Hunter, professor in medicine at the University of East Anglia, said: “If this new variant is behind the increase in this age group, then that is a big worry.”