Covid variant ‘worst we’ve seen so far’ could spark new travel restrictions

Britain will start to to test travellers from South Africa over a new Covid variant which UK experts say is the “worst one we’ve seen so far”.

Experts from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) say the B.1.1.529 strain has a spike protein which is “dramatically” different to the original Covid strain.

They have also identified that it has double the amount of mutations than the Delta variant which could potentially make it more transmissible and evade the protection given by prior infection or vaccination.

Read moreCovid rates rising in 298 parts of UK as full list of areas revealed

The government is now understood to be considering travel restrictions between the UK and South Africa, where cases are rapidly rising.

While no cases have been found in Britain, officials will invite people who have arrived from the country in the last 10 days to take a Covid test.

One senior UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) expert said: “This is the worst variant we have seen so far.”

World Health Organisation’s experts are meeting on Friday to assess the variant.

The variant could eventually be given the moniker “Nu” – with the most concerning variants given named after the Greek alphabet.

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Source: Einnews

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