Two people in the UK have been found to be infected with the new Covid variant, Omicron.
Health secretary Sajid Javid said the cases in Brentwood, Essex, and Nottingham were confirmed by the UK Health Security Agency after genomic sequencing.
They are linked and connected to travel in southern Africa, and both cases and their households were self-isolating, reports the BBC.
The new variant has also been identified in South Africa, Botswana, Belgium, Hong Kong and Israel.
The new Omicron variant was first reported to the World Health Organisation from South Africa on Wednesday. Early evidence suggests it has a higher re-infection risk.
Countries around the world are currently racing to introduce travel bans and restrictions on southern African countries in an effort to contain the variant’s spread.
Ten countries are now on the UK’s travel red list meaning, from Sunday at 04:00 GMT, all arrivals will have to quarantine in a hotel for 10 days.
On Friday, the UK placed South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho and Eswatini on the list.
In his announcement on Saturday, the health secretary said Angola, Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia would be added.
A “variant of concern” is the World Health Organisation’s top category of worrying Covid variants.