23 January 2022,   09:19
In addition to the UK, a new variant of coronavirus detected in Denmark, Australia, Italy and the Netherlands

The World Health Organization has said it is in close contact with UK officials over the emergence of a new variant of coronavirus, writes BBC.

The new variant is spreading more rapidly than the original version, but it is not believed to be more deadly.

Along with the UK, the same mutation of the COVID-19 virus has also been detected in the Netherlands, Denmark and Australia.

There is no evidence to suggest the new variant reacts differently to vaccines.

In the UK, large parts of south-east England, including London, are now under a new, stricter level of restrictions in a bid to curb the rapidly spreading virus.

On Sunday, European nations including Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium all announced a halt to flights and travel from the UK. The measures vary and are initially generally short-term.