The U.K. health secretary Matt Hancock announced the detection of another new strain of COVID-19 believed to have originated from South Africa.
Hancock said all travelers that arrived into the country from South Africa over the past two weeks and their close contacts must isolate immediately.
This second variant of the virus – called 501.V2 – is the second mutated strain to be announced by the U.K. Government in as many weeks.
Hancock said the new version is even 'more transmissible' and has 'mutated further' than the one which emerged in Kent.
The health minister also announced a raft of new restrictions which will see more regions of the country join London in tier four starting midnight Boxing Day.