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Matt Hancock said he had taken action in the south west of England where there were “early signs of the new variant”

Matt Hancock says two UK cases of a second variant of coronavirus have been discovered – and that it was “very worrying” and “more communicable” than the first variant

Anyone who has been to South Africa in the past 14 days where the variant has surfaced must isolate immediately

He said: “Both are contacts from cases that have traveled from South Africa in the past few weeks”

He added: “We are incredibly grateful to the South African government for the rigor of their science and the openness and transparency with which they have rightly acted as we did when we discovered a new variant here”

The rules here state that you should only travel within the region if it is absolutely necessary

Travelers entering Northern Ireland within the CTA must self-isolate for 10 days upon arrival

Mr Hancock continued, “This new variant is very worrying as it is even more transmissible and appears to have mutated further than the new variant discovered in the UK”

The Minister of Health said both cases and the cases’ close contacts have been quarantined, there are immediate restrictions on travel from South Africa, and the government is telling those who have recently had contact with someone who has been in South Africa fourteen days to quarantine

He added, “These measures are temporary while we continue to investigate this new strain which is due to be analyzed shortly at Porton Down”

Previously, Prof Neil Ferguson of SAGE told MPs, “I think the biggest concern right now is the South African”

He added: “There are certainly isolated reports of explosive outbreaks with this virus and a very sharp increase in the number of cases

“Nigeria is also currently showing a very strong increase in the number of cases, and we have no genetic data from there”

Matt Hancock, South Africa, South African coronavirus

World News – UK – Second mutant Covid-19 strain discovered, British Minister of Health announces