The UK government has ordered any travellers who have arrived in the country from South Africa in the past 14 days and their contacts to quarantine with immediate effect.

UK Health Minister Matt Hancock said in a briefing on Wednesday [December 23] that two UK residents have contracted the new variant of COVID-19 that was first detected in South Africa, according to The Independent.

“This new variant is highly concerning, because it is yet more transmissible, and it appears to have mutated further than the new variant that has been discovered in the UK,” Hancock said.

The UK has imposed travel restrictions on those travelling from South Africa. Anyone who has travelled from Soouth Africa in the last two weeks, or contacts of those who have travelled from South Africa in the last two weeks, must quarantine immediately.

“These measures are temporary while we investigate further this new strain which is shortly to be analysed at Porton Down [a science facility in England].”

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Article written by

Anita Froneman