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International alarm grows over new variant of the Coronavirus

More than 40 countries have barred UK arrivals, as the EU held talks on forming a common policy.

Sweden banned foreign travellers from Denmark after cases of the variant were discovered there.

The new strain is more transmissible but there is no evidence it is more deadly.

As the list of countries imposing travel restrictions on the UK grew, the World Health Organization (WHO) sought to put the risks in context.

WHO emergencies chief Mike Ryan said new strains were a normal part of the evolution of a pandemic, and that it was not “out of control”,

In another development, travellers from South Africa are also facing bars from some countries after another new variant of the virus was discovered that is unrelated to the one found in the UK.

Many countries, from India, to Iran, to Canada have banned UK arrivals.

The US is yet to follow suit, but two airlines – British Airways and Delta – will only allow passengers who test negative for the coronavirus to fly to New York’s John F Kennedy airport.

Saudi ArabiaKuwait and Oman have shut their borders completely to international passengers.

Along with Denmark, the new strain has also been detected in Australia, Italy and the Netherlands. (BBC)