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Coronavirus

Greece detects 4 cases of new coronavirus variant

Travelers from Britain in quarantine, as Athens bolsters pandemic restrictions

 Greece identifies four cases of the new coronavirus variant in people who recently travelled from Britain.   © Reuters

ATHENS (Reuters) -- Greece has detected four cases of the new coronavirus variant in people who recently traveled from Britain, according to a Health Ministry official.

The new variant of the coronavirus, now spreading around the world, was first found in Britain and is more transmissible than the original variant of the virus first identified in China a year ago. Another recent new variant was first found in South Africa.

"The four persons recently traveled to Greece from Britain. They are in quarantine," a Health Ministry official who declined to be named told Reuters. It was the first time that Greece has reported cases of the new variant.

Greece tightened coronavirus curbs for a week starting Sunday, closing hair salons and bookstores that had been allowed to reopen in the run-up to Christmas, to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

The country, which started the first vaccinations against COVID-19 last week, has reported 140,099 confirmed coronavirus cases and 4,957 related deaths.

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