A new strain of the coronavirus has been found in Britain and South Africa, which seems to infect more easily than others. However, no evidence shows it is more deadly. A growing list of nations have barred air and land travel from the U.K.
The new variant was identified in September. By the end of December, it caused over 60 percent of infections in London. To complicate the matter, a second new variant first discovered in South Africa has been detected in the U.K., too. As a precaution, travelers are not allowed to enter the nation from South Africa. The new surge in coronavirus cases prompted Johnson’s government to impose tighter lockdown restrictions in London and south-east England.
A deal has been struck to reopen the border with France, but only to those with a negative COVID-19 test. The change was made to avoid supply chain disruptions during the Christmas holiday.
Will the current vaccines protect people against the new strain? Some experts are confident the vaccines will be effective while others say further studies are required.