A mystery person in the UK infected with the Covid variant of concern first found in Brazil has now been traced.
It was announced last week that six cases of the P.1 variant had been found in the UK. But, one of the cases was still unknown.
Scientists say the variant appears to be more contagious.
There are also concerns vaccines may not be as effective against it. But, NHS England experts say vaccines can be “rapidly adapted”.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock will later lead a press conference from Downing Street.
Earlier this week, Mr Hancock said the UK’s current vaccines had not yet been tested against this variant. But work is already underway to tweak the vaccines to make them a better match for some of the new strains.
The variant has been designated “of concern” because it shares some crucial mutations with the variant identified in South Africa.
One of these mutations – called E484K – may help the virus evade some of the immunity people may have already built against Covid.
The three cases in Scotland were all oil workers returning to their families from Brazil, Paris, and London. Health officials have been trying to trace all the passengers on their flight from Heathrow to Aberdeen.
Recent cases in the UK
In England, two of the cases are from the same household in South Gloucestershire, who tested positive after someone returned from Brazil on 10 February.
The third case in England – the person who has now been found – was not linked.
Earlier this week, the Brazilian city hit hard by this P.1 variant – suggested the variant could be up to twice as transmissible as earlier Covid.
After the cases were found in South Gloucestershire, surge testing was set up in five postcode areas. It means everyone in the local area is invited for Covid tests, even if they do not have symptoms.
Moreover, the testing is to be extended for a further week.