Two people in the UK have been found to be infected with the new Covid variant, Omicron, the health secretary has said.
Sajid Javid said the UK Health Security Agency had detected cases in Chelmsford, Essex, and in Nottingham, report BBC.
He said the cases were linked and the two people were self-isolating alongside their households while more tests and contact tracing take place.
The new variant has also been identified in South Africa, Botswana, Belgium, Hong Kong and Israel.
The new Omicron coronavirus variant - identified first in South Africa, but also detected in Europe and Asia - is raising concern worldwide given the number of mutations, which might help it spread or even evade antibodies from prior infection or vaccination.