Two more cases of the Brazil coronavirus variant have been found in England, bringing the total number of reported cases of the variant in Britain to 12.
Public Health England said both of the new cases – one in the West Midlands and one in Haringey – were linked to international travel with Brazil.
The health authority added that another variant, first identified in the Philippines, was also being investigated after two cases were identified in England. One of the cases was linked to international travel, with the other still under investigation.
Preliminary studies of the Brazil variant showed that it may be between 1.4 to 2.2 times more transmissible than previous versions of coronavirus circulating in Manaus, a city in Brazil.
The Pfizer/Biontech coronavirus vaccine is able to combat the variant. Scientists tested blood samples from patients who had received the Pfizer jab and found it was effective in neutralising a laboratory-made version of the virus similar to the Brazil variant.