A rapidly spreading variant of the COVID-19 virus, thought to originate in Britain, has halted some travel and supply lines as the United Kingdom’s European neighbors scrambled to temporarily ban all travel to the country.
The new strain isn’t the first variant of the coronavirus to emerge, but scientists say it’s concerning because it is said to be up to 70% more transmissible than the previously dominant strain in the U.K.
Neighboring countries began imposing travel restrictions immediately. France imposed a 48-hour suspension of freighters across the English Channel, while others restricted travel to the country, according to The New York Times.
Australia and Italy have detected cases of the new strain, and it was also identified in the Netherlands in early December, those countries’ governments reported.
The virus continues to disrupt daily life around the globe, with more than 77.3 million people confirmed to have contracted COVID-19 since Chinese officials imposed the first coronavirus lockdown in the city of Wuhan in January.
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