A novel strain of COVID-19 has recently been discovered in the South East of England
A novel strain of COVID-19 has recently been discovered in the South East of England.
As of 13 December, it was reported that 1,108 cases with this variant have been identified, predominantly in the South and East of England.
There is currently no evidence to suggest that the strain has any impact on disease severity, antibody response or vaccine efficacy.
Viruses usually undergo mutations. Variants of SARS-CoV-2 have been observed in other countries, such as Spain.
As a result of this new strain a new Tier 4 level has been introduced in the UK>
Residents in Tier 4 must stay at home, apart from limited exemptions set out in law. Non-essential retail, indoor gyms and leisure facilities, and personal care services must close. People must work from home if they can, but may travel to work if this is not possible, for example in the construction and manufacturing sectors. People should not enter or leave tier 4 areas, and tier 4 residents must not stay overnight away from home. Individuals can only meet one person from another household in an outdoor public space.